Food for Healthy Bones and Teeth: Build a Strong Structure

Bones and teeth are two very important parts of the body that are critical to one’s appearance, health, and bodily function. Bones, for example, give the human body its shape and structure. Without bones, one’s body would not be able to support itself. Teeth provide shape to the face, but they are also crucial to one’s survival, as teeth allow people to chew and consume the food that sustains them. Because they are so crucial, people must keep their bones and teeth as healthy as possible.

A healthy diet for bone health should include both calcium and vitamin D, as the calcium helps to strengthen bones and vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. People can get calcium by consuming dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and low-fat milk. For people who are lactose intolerant and unable to drink milk, there is soy milk, which is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Certain types of food are also fortified with the nutrients that one needs. Orange juice, for example, may be fortified with both vitamin D and calcium. Some cereals are also fortified with vitamin D. Both vitamin D and calcium can be found naturally in foods such as sardines and wild Alaskan salmon. Eggs contain as much as 6 percent of one’s daily allowance of vitamin D. Other foods that are good for bone health are green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens.

Teeth also depend on the right foods and nutrients to keep them strong, healthy, and intact. The right foods can minimize the amount of acid that attacks the enamel of one’s teeth and ultimately causes decay. Foods that one eats for tooth health should also contain calcium, which helps to remineralize the teeth and keep them strong. Crunchy foods can assist in keeping the mouth clean, as they scrub the teeth and gums as they are being chewed. They also produce additional saliva that washes away bacteria and debris. Examples of crunchy foods include fruits and vegetables such as celery and apples. People should also eat green, leafy vegetables, lean meats, chicken, and nuts. What a person chooses to drink can also impact the health of their teeth. Ideally, people should drink fluoridated water and milk, and they should avoid drinking anything that’s sweetened, such as sodas. Foods to avoid include sweets, carbohydrates, and hard food that can crack one’s teeth.

When people fail to properly care for their teeth and bones, it can create a number of problems over time. Frequently eating the wrong foods, for example, can lead to gum disease, cavities, oral bone loss, and loss of one’s teeth. In some cases, an abscess or infection may form, which can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Problems with one’s teeth and gums can also lead to heart disease if bacteria from the gums enter the bloodstream. Bacteria can also travel through the bloodstream or the nerves to the brain, where they can potentially lead to dementia. People who have diabetes may also find that it is harder to control their blood sugar when they have gum inflammation. Poor bone health can cause bones to weaken and make them susceptible to breakage. Osteoporosis is an example of a very common bone disease in which bones become weak, brittle, and easy to break. This problem is more common in women, but both genders can develop osteoporosis.

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