So the other week my daughter was complaining of a toothache. Of course my husband and I just happened to be overseas and she was being taken care of by her Grandma, so there wasn’t much we could do. Sigh. In all honesty, I thought perhaps Akira might have been playing on it for some attention and sympathy because we weren’t home.
As it turned out, the day after we got home, Akira had to have one of her baby molars taken out!! Oh my goodness I almost died. I felt ashamed and disappointed as a parent. That somehow I had failed in helping her take care of her precious teeth. I’ve always had great teeth (apart from being crazy crooked as a kid – Yikes. And yep, my poor girl has my crooked teeth too, that being hereditary). So it didn’t seem right that my daughter of all people, who doesn’t have much sugar had a rotten tooth. Akira doesn’t drink fruit juices or soft drinks – water is her drink of choice. And treats are definitely known as ‘sometimes’ foods in our household. Not a daily habit. How did this happen?
Well, as it turns out, the outcome of our health is determined well and truly before we are born. And yep, that even means the health and condition of our teeth can be dated back to our parents and grandparents. What we do to our bodies now can affect generations to come. It’s truly amazing isn’t it?
You will see some children with an odd brown baby tooth which can be due to their mother being on Antibiotics either during pregnancy or in the lead up to falling pregnant.
As babies, we are born with all of our baby teeth already in our sculls, ready to come through. So those are developing during the mother’s pregnancy.
Hmm, so once we are born, it’s too late to change the past of our ancestors, but it’s just the beginning for future generations.
What’s the best way to take care of your teeth then? Some of the answers might actually surprise you. Some are glaringly obvious but I’ve included them anyway.
- Up Your Nutrition LevelsHealthy Teeth and Gums
Our teeth absolutely thrive from the vitamins and minerals that are taken from the food we eat. From a young age, the food we eat impacts our teeth. As we age, our teeth and gums change. Looking after your teeth as well as eating a broad, healthy diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong.
Certain vitamins and minerals will help to promote optimal oral health.
Vitamins A, C, D and Calcium in particular can support healthy teeth.
Vitamin A helps the development of healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants can help in getting rid of free radicals, chemicals that actually speed up decay.
Vitamin C promotes strong teeth and gum tissue. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is washed out of the body once it has what it needs. Therefore it is important to take in Vitamin C every day.
Vitamin D is created after exposure to sunlight and can be found in supplement form. Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption as well as helping keep the right levels of calcium in the blood stream. Children especially need to get enough Vitamin D so that they will develop healthy teeth and bones.
Calcium is important, no matter what age you are, because this mineral is crucial in the development and maintenance of teeth and bones. It’s actually your jaw bone that forms the foundation that houses your teeth.
You can up your nutrition levels with food (always first option) and with Supplementation (supplements should always go hand in hand with healthy eating).
Eat a broad balanced diet and if you are going to supplement, look for a quality product that is free of nasty toxins (you’d be surprised how many well known products available on the market have contaminants in them!).
I use and recommend the Usana products. This is mostly due to the optimal levels of ingredients in each and every product and guarantee that there are no contaminants in their products. You can learn more Usana Vitamins and Minerals.
- Brush and Floss twice a day
Yep, your Mum was right when she nagged you to brush your teeth after breakfast and before bed. Use a toothbrush that suits you and get stuck into all of those toothy pegs. We choose a Fluoride Free, Natural Toothpaste which you can order here online Natural Whitening Toothpaste. It would take me more space than you have time to explain my reason for this. If you are good at researching, please do yourself a favour and do some research on fluoride.
Flossing also helps get in between all those hard to reach places.
I do not recommend Mouth Wash. Most contain alcohol and can leave a burning sensation in your mouth. Not fun at all. There are some studies that show links to Cancer. Plus rinsing with Mouth Wash doesn’t make any difference to your teeth. It’s the brushing and flossing that makes the difference. So the main consensus is to not waste your money.
- Minimise Sugars
It kind of goes without saying really doesn’t it? Sugar is hidden everywhere. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the latest Aussie Doco “That Sugar Film” or got your hands on a copy of “That Sugar Book”, do yourself a favour and check it out. You will learn so much about this drug, ahem, I mean sweetener.
- Avoid Soft Drinks / Flavoured Waters /Juice Bottles
These drinks are full of sugars and the soft drinks in particular have harsh chemicals in them that can destroy the enamel on your teeth over time. The acids in soft drinks can actually soften your enamel. If you do have any of these drinks, be sure to at least swish water around in your mouth afterwards.
I believe that many people understand the importance of Step 2, 3 and 4. But with step 1, it really is amazing how much the actual vitamins and minerals taken from your food really affect your teeth! I hope this helps you make great decisions in the food that you eat and give to your family.
Please comment below with any feedback below and be sure to share this article with friends and family so we can help future generations have healthy, pearly whites.