There is never a substitute for brushing your teeth twice-a-day and regular flossing, but did you know there are more ways you to encourage stronger, healthier teeth and gums?
For older adults, tooth decay is especially common because they often missed the benefits of water fluoridation in their younger years. In addition, the natural changes that occur with aging can lead to:
- Gum disease
- Receding gums
- Tooth-root decay
- Decay around the edges of a fractured or weakened filling
Can certain foods make my teeth stronger?
Yes. According to the American Dental Association, healthy food choices can help prevent tooth decay. In general, consuming low-sugar, whole-grain bread, and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, are the best choice for strong, healthy teeth. Here's the best foods for stronger, healthier teeth:
- Leafy greens
- Lean proteins
- Plenty of water
Can vitamins make my teeth stronger?
Yes. If a person is lacking in nutrients, this may cause tooth loss and oral inflammation. Consuming the right teeth-friendly nutrients through food and vitamins will support strong teeth and gums.
Five essential vitamins for good teeth and gum health:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
If you eat a balanced diet, you may already benefit from these essential nutrients.
How can I strengthen my tooth enamel?
Supplemental fluoride comes in the form of a varnish or gel that is applied directly to the teeth. It strengthens teeth and helps to prevent tooth decay. Ask the dentist about supplemental fluoride if you are prone to cavities. They can apply supplemental fluoride to your teeth at your next dental visit.
A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from dental materials) that is applied to teeth. It is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth to protect them from decay. A sealant can prevent cavities from forming and can stop the early stages of tooth decay.
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work as a protective coating to keep bits of food, bacteria, and acid away from your teeth. Both adults and children can benefit from dental sealants. For kids, sealing the first and second molars as they emerge can keep their teeth free from cavities from the start.
Prescription Fluoride Supplements
If you live in an area that doesn't have sufficient fluoride in the tap water, your dentist may prescribe a prescription fluoride supplement for children aged six months to 16 years. Prescription fluoride supplements come in tablets, drops, or lozenges and can help to protect children's teeth from decay. Consult with your dentist, primary care physician, or pediatrician about your child's fluoride needs.
Talk with your dentist if you have questions about which foods or vitamins will benefit your oral health. Also, ask if supplemental fluoride, dental sealants, or prescription fluoride supplements may be a good choice for you and your family. Oral health may be our specialty, but full-body health from heart to mind is our focus.