Did you know that cavities can potentially be reversed? Furthermore, it seems that this can be achieved through nutrition! Though not widely-known, certain changes to dietary habits can indeed help to prevent and reverse tooth cavities. Here are some things which you might want to consider the next time the fear of finding a cavity strikes you.
Why nutrition can affect cavities
Before moving on, it is important to understand how our food choices affect our oral health in the first place. Put simply, our teeth are "alive" — they are constantly being de-mineralised and re-mineralised. Certain foods promote remineralisation while others accelerate demineralisation. This disparity is largely due to their differing nutritional profiles.
Foods to take
If you are currently facing a "cavity crisis", here are some foods which you might want to stock up on.
1. Foods rich in calcium
Calcium has been thought to increase saliva production; saliva, in turn, acts as a buffer between bacteria and our teeth, thus preventing cavities.
- Milk and dairy products
2. Foods rich in other minerals
Apart from calcium, our teeth need other types of minerals – such as magnesium and phosphate – to maintain their health.
- Leafy vegetables
3. Foods rich in vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential ingredient for our body to properly absorb and use calcium.
- Goose, chicken liver
- Egg yolk
4. Foods rich in vitamin D
Similar to vitamin K, vitamin D is important for the proper absorption of calcium as well. Additionally, vitamin D regulates phosphorous absorption – another essential mineral for healthy teeth. It might also be helpful to bear in mind that apart from dietary supplementation, adequate sunlight exposure is also another efficient source of vitamin D.
- Cod liver oil
- Fatty fish
Foods to avoid
Now that you know which foods can help keep your teeth healthy, here are some foods to avoid due to their notorious reputation for promoting bacterial growth.
- Sugary food (chocolate, cookies, cakes, sweets, pastries)
- Processed food (luncheon meat, sausages)
- Wheat crackers
Remember, not all cavities can be fully reversed. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and consistently adhere to a healthy diet so as to prevent the formation of dental cavities. After all, you know what they say about prevention being better than a cure!