Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Stronger Teeth

A good oral health and strong teeth are important for a healthy life and a beautiful smile. It’s important that your teeth and gums are free of cavities and decay, as inflammation and infection in your mouth can also affect your overall health, leading to serious health conditions such as oral cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, heart diseases, kidney diseases and diabetes. You should make maintain good dental health a priority and should also educate your children about it.

How to Make Your Teeth Stronger

1. Brush and floss regularly

For strong and healthy teeth you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. While selecting your brush it is advised that you select a brush with soft bristles. You should change your toothbrush after every three months and in case of an electric brush change the head of the brush after every three months. Educate your children on the best brushing technique.

You should also floss once a day for healthy teeth. Flossing helps remove bacteria, plaque and food particles that are trapped between your teeth. It is recommended that you floss before you brush, which ensures that your toothpaste penetrates between your teeth killing any remaining bacteria.   

2. Use a fluoride tooth paste

Fluoride in toothpaste helps slow down enamel breakdown (demineralization) and increases the rate of enamel formation (remineralization). Bacteria in the plaques produce acids that break down enamel of the teeth, which can lead to cavities. How to make your teeth stronger? Brushing regularly with fluorinated toothpaste prevents tooth decay in adults and children. Make sure you supervise your children when they use fluoride toothpaste. Instruct them not to swallow the toothpaste. Children below 6 years of age should be given only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth. Generally fluoride toothpaste contains 1350–1500ppm of fluoride. Fluoride toothpaste meant for children should have at least 1000ppm of fluoride in it to prevent tooth decay.

3. Use a mouthwash

An antibacterial mouthwash helps kill the bacteria that are floating in your mouth and also helps deodorize your mouth. It is beneficial to use mouthwashes with fluoride in it. Mouthwashes with alcohol are not recommended.

  • You can also use salt solution as a mouth wash. Dissolve sufficient amount of salt to a cup of warm water. Check the taste of the salt solution. If it is very salty you can add some water to it.
  • Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In a research study it has been shown that turmeric mouth wash is very effective in preventing tooth decay, plaque and gingivitis. To make a turmeric mouthwash, mix half a teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of warm water and boil it. Cool the solution and use it once dail   

4. Reduce your sugar intake

How to make your teeth stronger? For healthy teeth avoid food and drinks containing sugar. Bacteria thrive on sugar in your mouth and when they break down the sugar they produce acid that erodes the enamel of your teeth. This leads to cavities and tooth decay.  Soft drinks that contain artificial sweeteners instead of sugar can protect your teeth to a certain extent. However, since soft drinks are acidic they can harm the teeth in the long run. You should also avoid chewy and sticky candies as they usually are high in sugar content and they can get trapped between your teeth. 

5. Quit smoking

Smoking can severely affect your dental health. Smoking can cause tooth staining, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss and even oral cancer. Smoking can also cause inflammation of the salivary glands on the roof of your mouth. Furthermore, smoking can also lead to delayed recovery period following dental procedures. It is highly recommended that you quit smoking to maintain your dental health.   

6. Get immediate treatment for your heartburn

If you suffer from heartburn due to acid reflux disorders the acid can reach your mouth and erode the enamel of your teeth leading to dental problems. It is advised that you consult your doctor and get treated for your acid reflux to prevent damage to your teeth.  

7. Drink lots of water

Drinking lots of water helps maintain your dental health. Water neutralizes the acidity in your mouth preventing the erosion of the enamel in your teeth. It also washes away the leftover food in your mouth, preventing food from being trapped between your teeth. Drink water as soon as you sense the first symptoms of thirst. The amount of water you need depends on the weather and your individual needs. Ensure that you are always sufficiently hydrated.    

8. Avoid chlorinated swimming pools

Chlorine has anti-microbial and disinfectant properties. Chlorine is added to public swimming pools to prevent infection and for sanitation. However, if the chlorine content in the swimming pools is very high it may make the water acidic. If this water enters your mouth it may erode the enamel of your teeth causing dental problems. You can check if the water in the swimming pool is acidic by using pool pH strips. The water in the pool should have a pH between 7.2-7.8. Check with the maintenance personnel if the chlorine content and the pH of the pool water are monitored. It is also advised that you swim with your mouth closed to prevent water from entering it.

9. Eat sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals

How to make your teeth stronger? To maintain healthy teeth it is recommended that you eat a balanced and nutritious meal. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy teeth.

  • Vitamin A – Vitamin A is necessary for optimal saliva production. It is abundant in oranges, spinach, vegetables, sweet potatoes, egg yolk and fish.
  • Vitamin C – It is needed for maintaining the connective tissue of your gums in good health. Scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is present in lemons, oranges, broccoli, peppers and berries.
  • B vitamins – B vitamins especially niacin and riboflavin are needed to prevent mouth sores and inflammation.  B vitamins are abundant in poultry, dairy products, fish, red meat, almonds and spinach.
  •  Vitamin E – The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of vitamin E are essential for maintaining dental health. Vitamin E rich foods include nuts, seeds, vegetable oil, wheat germ oil, avocado and fish.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and its deficiency leads to underdeveloped teeth and gum diseases. Milk, egg, fish and cod liver oil contains vitamin D. You can ensure that your body makes sufficient vitamin D by sitting in the sun for 15 minutes every day.
  • Fluoride – Fluoride is needed for the remineralization of teeth and it helps prevent tooth decay. Dried fruit, tea, coffee, dried beans, shellfish and potatoes are rich in fluoride.
  • Calcium – Teeth and jaw are made of calcium and consuming sufficient calcium is essential for the normal development of teeth and for maintaining strong teeth and jaw bones. Calcium is abundant in dairy products, broccoli, sardines, almonds, green leafy vegetables and legumes.   
  • Iodine – Iodine is needed for optimal absorption of calcium from the body which is needed for good dental health. It is present in shell fish, sea weed, sesame seeds, garlic and iodized salt.
  • Zinc – Zinc inhibits the growth of bacteria and plaques thereby preventing tooth decay. Zinc is present in cashews, squash, oysters, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and legumes.

10. Make Regular Appointments with Your Dentist

It is recommended that you visit your dentist every six months or once in a year for a thorough dental check up. If you experience symptoms such as bleeding gums, painful and swollen gums, pain in the teeth, headache and bad breath, consult your doctor immediately to prevent further damage to your teeth. It is recommended that you have your teeth cleaned by your dentist regularly. Children should also be encouraged to visit the dentists.