New Year….new you?
January 16, 2011
Losing a few pounds tops the New Year resolutions list for a lot people every year and experts agree the best way to change your figure is through sensible eating and an appropriate exercise programme. Yo yo dieting, extreme eating plans and over exercising is just as bad for your health as being overweight and it’s an area where doctors and dentists agree. “A healthy diet is as good for your teeth as it is for your waistline and faddy weight loss plans or diet pills have hidden dangers.” Explains Dr Kaman from the Implant and Aesthetic Center in Budapest.
The dangers of dieting can have long term consequences for oral health, as a variety of vitamins and minerals are important for healthy teeth and gums. Vitamins C, A and D along with calcium, magnesium and phosphorous are all essential for a healthy smile. Dieting, particularly without the advice of your doctor can lead to you making some dangerous changes to the levels of these vital vitamins and minerals.
For example cutting out diary foods which are often mistakenly perceived to be high in fat means teeth and bones could be kept short of calcium. Calcium isn’ just vital for healthy teeth, it also maintains good bone structure, and remember your jaw, the foundation of a healthy smile is made from bone. Vitamins A and D are also good for teeth and gums. These vitamins are fat soluble and can be depleted when people follow fat-free diets. Vitamin D is essential for good calcium absorption whilst vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps prevent decay and maintain healthy gums. Meanwhile Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron and aids the body’s healing process.
Denying the body of vital nutrients isn’t the only diet danger. Diet pills can wreak havoc with your body’s metabolism and doctors list heart problems, allergies and addiction as common side effects. Often once you’ve stopped taking the pills the weight can pile back on, leading the user to even more drastic measures. Dentists are also concerned about diet pills as a common side effect is a dry mouth and lack of saliva. Saliva plays an important role in the mouth’s defence against acid attack and if the saliva flow is modified in any way it leaves teeth vulnerable to decay.
Dentists and doctors agree that the healthiest diet for both maintaining the right weight and caring for your teeth is one that is low in sugar, processed foods and starchy carbs. Increasing the amount of vegetables, whole grains and fresh fruit is key to success. Foods that need to be chewed properly before being swallowed like apples are good for teeth as they encourage saliva flow. Swap sugar laden fizzy drinks or juice for water and snack on carrots with humous, nuts or plain yogurt. Load up on fresh veg which is filling and full of antioxidants and limit sticky foods like dried fruit.
“A general rule to follow is that if foods are close to their natural state then they’ll be good for your weight and your teeth.” States Dr Kaman. By sticking to a healthy diet you’ll see results and that’s the way to make your New Year resolutions a reality this year.