What defines holistic dentistry is that we don’t treat your mouth as an individual part of your body. We treat the entire person as one connected system. Your dental health is connected to your overall health and vice versa.
When you begin to look at things that way, you realize that fighting cavities is more than just brushing and flossing. Obviously, those are extremely important parts of the fight, but a more holistic solution goes even further.
We want to look at fighting cavities as a complete solution.
Did you know that some foods can help strengthen your teeth to prevent cavities while others may even help restore weakened enamel?
How is this possible?
Some studies have determined that certain fat-soluble vitamins can help keep your teeth healthy. The nutrients that seem to have the greatest impact on your dental health include:
- Vitamin A – This vitamin helps support the osteoimmune system (i.e. the immune system tied directly to your skeletal system).
- Vitamin D – If you’re low in vitamin D, your body releases a certain hormone that will pull calcium from your teeth. On the other hand, if you’re getting enough of it, it can contribute to the formation of dentin.
- Vitamin K2 – Supports the bone-building cells in your body and may help carry calcium into your teeth and bones.
We’ve previously discussed whether or not changing your diet can reverse tooth decay, but let’s get a little more specific, here. Let’s take a more complete approach to protecting your teeth by getting plenty of the following foods in your diet.
But first, a general guideline:
Try replacing processed foods with foods such as free-range eggs, raw butter and milk, grass-fed animal organs, fermented foods , healthy fats and avoid white flour products, sweets, and excess sugar.
Now, on to the list of foods to seek out:
Liver – Liver may not exactly be a staple of modern culinary cuisine, but maybe it should be. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It is a great source of iron, fat soluble vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamins K1 and K2. It even has more vitamin C than blueberries or kale. These nutrients can significantly contribute to your oral health.
Cheese – Cheese is low on sugar and high on protein and calcium, which are both critical allies in the fight against cavities. The calcium provides the minerals that your enamel needs, and the proteins help counteract some of the acids that damage your teeth. Be sure to stick to cheeses from grass-fed cows.
Whole grains – Your daily allowance of whole grains can provide iron and vitamin B which contribute to the health of your gums. Bran, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta may also have magnesium, which is good for bones and teeth.
Spinach – Dark, leafy greens like spinach are great sources of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Spinach also contains a lot of antioxidants, which have some benefits that extend to dental health, too.
Butter – For years, butter was derided as unhealthy, but, in fact, it’s a good source of those important fat-soluble vitamins. You can find vitamins A, D, and K2 in butter, but only if it comes from a grass-fed cow.
Garlic – Most people only think of this food’s effect on their breath, but the antibacterial properties of garlic actually make it a strong fighter against cavities. Garlic contains prebiotic fiber, that contributes to stronger teeth, and Allicin, which provides the antibacterial qualities.
Sauerkraut – There are a couple important elements in sauerkraut that make it good for your teeth. The first is that it contains lactic-acid-forming bacteria, which can inhibit the disease-causing bacteria you want to avoid. It is also a good source of vitamin K2.
Cold-water fatty fish – This category of fish includes mackerel, cod, haddock and others, and is a good source of vitamin D and vitamin K2.
Cucumbers – This vegetable is considered a cooling alkaline food, which means it can help regain control of a mouth that has overheated from all the acids in the other beverages and foods we consume.
Water – This is probably the most obvious one that you’ve heard over and over again, but it’s worth repeating. Not only does it rinse the food residue from your teeth, it helps flush toxins from the rest of your body.
There are a lot of foods out there that are great for your teeth (and many that aren’t). When you combine healthy eating – which is to say a diet that is full of teeth-friendly foods – with your at-home routines and regular dental checkups, you will be able to do more in the fight against tooth decay.
If you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to consult with you and help create a diet plan that protects your teeth and contributes to your overall health.