You already know the value of regular tooth brushing and flossing to the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease, but what you eat can help too. Here are a few tips for healthy teeth involving simple foods that may be more helpful to your dental health than you thought they were.
An Element of Strength
The mineral, fluoride, plays an important role in building strong teeth and bones, and ultimately protecting your teeth against tooth decay. This is why fluoride has been included in toothpastes like Colgate Cavity Protection and many community water supplies. But did you know it's also found naturally in many foods? Any fluoride you ingest is absorbed and distributed throughout the body, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), though most of it deposited into your bones and teeth.
So, to give you and your family's teeth an extra bit of strength now and then, serve up foods with naturally high concentrations of fluoride. Most seafood is a good source of this because oceans are full of natural sodium fluoride. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tea and gelatin contain fluoride as well. Carrots, beets, canned pork and beans also have significant amounts (who would've thought?), as well as infant formula, juices, canned tomato products and cheeses. And if you like baked potatoes, don't peel off the skin; that's where most of the fluoride is found. You can identify more fluoride-rich foods at the USDA National Nutrient Database.
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