How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth
Did you know that your diet affects your teeth more than your oral hygiene routine does? This might surprise you but the food that you eat and the way that you eat your food can affect your susceptibility to cavities and oral diseases more than how often you brush and floss.
A quick look at history shows us that indigenous diets consisting of simple foods like meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds and oils & butters produced much better oral health than the refined sugars and processed food diets of today. Take a look at Dr. Weston Price's research in the early 1900's and you'll see an incredible visual of what we're talking about.
Dr. Price analyzed the foods eaten by isolated indigenous tribes and found that they provided at least four times the calcium and other minerals, and at least ten times the fat-soluble vitamins that we get from our diet today. Why is this important for your teeth? Calcium, and other important vitamins and minerals, help strengthen enamel and remineralize your teeth. Fat-soluble vitamins help the body process the calcium and minerals and deliver them where they need to go. Dr. Price also found that the diet of the indeginous tribes even affected the shape of their jaw bone which determined whether or not their teeth would be crowded (further determining their susceptibility to cavities). He also discovered that the diets of parents affected their future children, including the development of the same jaw bone structure, tooth strength and overall health of the mouth.
Indigenous tribes did not have access to modern toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss and dentists. Their teeth relied on the food they ate, including eating fibrous foods like leafy greens, carrots and apples that acted as natural tooth scrubbers. And if they did use toothpaste, it was made from the natural materials they had access to.
So what does this say about our oral care today? It says that as a society we rely way too much on toothpaste, and we think that brushing our teeth twice a day should do the trick. We fail to realize that our bodies care much more about what we put in them, and that so much of our cavity susceptibility is determined by the delicate balance of bacteria that reside in our oral microbiome. True oral health can only be achieved when we look at our lifestyle as a whole, and when we take some tips from our ancestors and ditch the processed food diets of today.