Four Simple Dietary Changes to Promote Healthy Tooth Enamel

Posted on: 3 January 2018

The decay of tooth enamel is a huge problem for many people, resulting in expensive treatments, tooth pain, and problems like cracked or broken teeth that could require emergency dental treatment. While there are many remineralising products on the market, from mouthwashes to toothpastes, there are several simple dietary changes you can make to protect and strengthen your existing tooth enamel. 

Increase Your Calcium Intake

It might be a well-known fact that calcium is essential for keeping your teeth strong, with Delta Dental explaining that adults require 1,000–1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. What's more, the body will take calcium from your bones (including your teeth!) if you don't consume enough calcium-rich foods. Dairy is the obvious choice, but if you don't or can't eat dairy, then try packing your diet with leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli and watercress. 

Promote Remineralisation With Your Diet

While many aspects of the modern diet speed up demineralisation and contribute to enamel loss, you can also use your diet to remineralise your teeth. It's recommended that you eat a balanced diet including grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy products, but as Colgate explains, there are some foods which promote remineralisation by increasing saliva flow in your mouth. Cheese and celery are both excellent for this purpose, as they stimulate saliva production and therefore reduce the rate at which enamel-destroying acid is produced in the mouth.

Avoid Sugars and Starchy Carbohydrates

Nothing decays teeth faster than sugary sweets, especially ones that stick to the teeth and can't be washed off by saliva. Substitute caramels and hard candies for sugar-free sweets, and always clean your teeth and use mouthwash after dessert. However, not as many people know that simple, starchy carbohydrates are bad for your teeth, as they break down into sugars—so try to reduce your intake of bread, pasta, and potatoes.

Change Your Drinking Habits

Often people decide to change their eating habits, but neglect to take notice of what they drink. Soft drinks are packed with acids that will decay enamel over time, and as WebMD points out, even drinks labelled as 'sugar-free' contain tooth-decaying acids. Fruit juices can also contain acid and cause similar problems, meaning that calcium-rich milk or plain water is the best drink to promote oral health. If you choose to drink sugary drinks, using a straw allows the liquid to partially bypass your teeth. 

With these simple and easy changes, which will also promote the health of the rest of your body, you can protect and strengthen your enamel without too much trouble. Avoid the wrong foods, keep an eye on what you drink and eat plenty of enamel-boosting foods, and you will hugely increase the health of your mouth.