As we grow up, we are told “drink your milk” for strong teeth and bones but that saying often gets forgotten as we get older. Keeping our bones and teeth healthy throughout life should be a high priority for aall of us. It allows us to prevent injuries as well as illness. Women can be especially susceptible to bone issues as they age. It has been reported that women can lose as much as 20% of the calcium in their bones after menopause. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and maintaining proper oral hygiene become doubly important as we get older.
Tips To Maintain Teeth and Bones
-Regular Medical and Dental Check-Ups – Keep regular dental examination appointments. These visits should include a full dental examination, bone mineral density and bone mass testing.
–Maintain Good Posture – Keeping good posture will keep your bones and muscles aligned properly. This should be maintained in your daily life but also when exercising.
-Calcium & Casein Intake – Women over age 50 need 1000-1200 mg calcium (key to strong bones) a day from a combination of food and supplements. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the foods you eat regularly to see how much calcium you are getting from them, even the milk used in coffee. Every 10% of the Daily Value is equal to 100 mg of calcium. Dental Bonus: The casein in milk products helps fortify tooth surfaces against acids.
-Eat Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables – We should strive to consume at least 5 servings per day. Fruits and vegetables have many of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for bones. This includes magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Chewing fibrous vegetables like celery also stimulates salivary production. Increased saliva in the mouth will clean teeth and protect tooth enamel by diluting and washing away bacteria and food debris.
-Alcohol & Gum – Moderate drinking is actually been proven to be good for you. The equivalent of 1-2 glasses of wine a day has been reported to protect the bones of menopausal women. Sugarless gum containing xylitol can slow the action of bacteria that cause dental cavities. Products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria. They simply cannot stick to teeth in a xylitol rich environment. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. The bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid producing bacteria may decrease by as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
-Fluids & Fluoride – Dry mouth increases the risk for oral diseases when the antimicrobial substances found in saliva are in short supply. Drinking fluoridated water serves double duty by keeping you hydrated and providing a source of fluoride which is needed to protect the teeth against tooth decay throughout life.
Staying healthy is never an easy task but to live a high quality life we must do our best. Following certain guidelines can really improve the quality of our lives as well as our loved ones. As always see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.