Nutrition for The Teeth and Gums

Nutrition for The Teeth and Gums

In addition to brushing and flossing, a prudent diet - with natural or added fluoride) protects teeth from decay and keeps the gums healthy. Tooth decay (cavities and dental caries) and gum diseases are caused by colonies of bacteria that constantly coat the teeth with a sticky film called plaque. If plaque is not brushed away, these bacteria break down the sugars and starches in foods to produce acids that wear away the tooth enamel. The plaque also hardens into tartar, which can lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis. A well-balanced diet provides the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients essential for healthy teeth and gums. Fluoride, occurring naturally in foods and drinking water, or added to the water supply, can reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60 per cent.

Children's teeth need to be attended to with care, otherwise as they grow into adults many disorders will assume serious complications, leading to falling of teeth prematurely. The mother needs to eat sensibly during pregnancy with a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Low fat dairy products, fish such as Hilsha and Kejki - consumed with the bones - and dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of calcium. Viamin D is obtained from egg yolks. To large extent, dental caries can be prevented by giving children fluoride in the first few years of life. Adults also benefit from fluoride; amounts provided in drinking water or in fouridated tooth paste is usually adequate.

Sucros, most familiar to us as granulated sugar, is the leading cause of tooth decay. When sugary and starchy foods mix with amylase, an enzyme in saliva, the result is an acid that erodes the enamel and makes teeth more susceptible to decay. Dried fruits can have an adverse effect on teeth, because they are high in sugar and cling to the teeth. Drinks containing artificial sweeteners can also do harm because they increase the acidity of the mouth. You can protect your teeth by composing meals with foods that do not promote cavities and may prevent them such as chesses. Interestingly enough the tannins and cocoa in chocolates help to reduce the impact of sugar. Unsweetened chocolate is even better as it provides energy without hampering teeth and gums.

More teeth are lost through gum disease than though tooth decay. Gum disease is likely to strike anyone who neglects oral hygiene or eats a poor diet. Persons at risk are those with malnutrition and AIDS, or who are being treated with steroid drugs or certain cancer chemptherapiies.

To Protect The Teeth and Gums Eat Plenty of :

Cut Down on :

Avoid:

Modified Diet for Dental Disorders

Three factors are important:

  1. General good nutrition, as outlined above
  2. Restriction in amounts of sticky foods containing sugar and starch which cling around the teeth - such as certain types of sweets, biscuits and cakes. If these are eaten the teeth should be cleaned by brushing or rinsing the mouth with water or by eating a piece of raw fruit such as apple or vegetable such cucumber afterwards
  3. By attending to consistency. Every meal should have something requiring chewing to give jaw and gum exercise. Biscuits and other sweet things which require chewing and contain ingredients which do not stock to the teeth are allowed. Sweets may be taken at meal time sand not in between.

Recipes for Snacks

a) Nutties
Quantities for 18 pieces
125 gms butter or margarine; 15 ml honey (1 level tbsp); 100 gms brown sugar or molasses (gur); 250 gms chira /oats; 1tsp vanilla essence; 60 gms chopped walnuts or roasted peanuts; ½ tsp salt.

Melt the butter and honey together but do not allow them to become too hot. Mix the other ingredients together, pour in the melted mixture, and combine well to make a crumbly mixture. Spread in a flat, oiled baking tin, smoothing the top with a knife. Cook very slowly until lightly browned. Leave in the tin until almost cold. Cut up into 18 pieces.

b) Chira/Oat Biscuits
Quantities for 36 small biscuits

60 ml sugar syrup or honey; 15ml water; 30 ml oil: 75 gms molasses (gur); 275 gms chira/oats; I tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder); 60 gms flour; pinch of salt.

Warm honey and water together, add oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. It should be a dropping consistency. Form into small balls, flatten and place two inches apart on an oiled baking tray. Bake until, delicately brown. Cool and store in an airtight tin.

Submitted By
Mahbub Husain Khan

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