Bones are a crucial part of our bodies, performing essential tasks that enable us to go on with our daily lives. Bones are involved in locomotion, storing essential nutrients, and protecting internal organs. Teeth are the primary way we break down and ingest food and accompanying nutrients. Various diseases are linked to weak bones and teeth. Osteoporosis is a silent disease that thins and weakens bones resulting in fractures.
Weak gums and unhealthy teeth have been linked to bad breath and cardiovascular diseases increasing the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Poor oral health has also been linked to higher chances of dementia later in life. Not to mention the high cost of good dental health care. Bone health and oral health are connected both dependent on the same nutrients, most notably calcium.
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People with osteoporosis can also be at risk for teeth loss. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis and women with osteoporosis tend to have fewer teeth than women with normal bone density. Health And Fitness: Arthritis And Ways Of Managing It
It’s never too early to start thinking about ways to strengthen your bones and teeth. Here are some ways to strengthen your bones and teeth.
Calcium is an important mineral that helps keep bones and teeth strong. Our bones are constantly remodelling. This is a process in which the body takes small amounts of calcium from the bones and replaces it with new calcium. It is essential to have enough of this mineral so that the body doesn’t decrease bone density during this remodelling process.
Milk and other dairy products are popularly touted as great sources of calcium. Present research however shows that consuming dairy products has little or no benefit or bones. Research by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine corroborates that and in fact, finds a connection between cancer and consumption of dairy products. Dairy products also contain contaminants ranging from hormones to pesticides all of which are harmful to people so try to get your primary calcium from other sources.
Great non-dairy plant-based sources of vitamins include white beans, kale, and other dark leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, lentils, almonds, oranges, and orange juice. Others include tofu, sardines, and canned salmon, cheese, yoghurt, sardines, dark leafy greens like spinach, turnips, and collard greens, fortified cereals and soya beans.
Vitamin D & K
Vitamins D & K are essential when it comes to bone and tooth health. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphate for the formation of strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K supports bone health by preventing the loss of calcium from bones. A study found that women who took Vitamin K supplements had increased bone density.
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Regular exercise performed before bone loss begins –about age 25-30- helps you to build bone mass. Any exercise performed on a regular basis can increase bone density and strength. High-impact weight-bearing exercises such as jogging, running, stair climbing, tennis, and dancing help build and maintain strong bones.
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General advice to strengthen bones
- Eat a healthy diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Be active every day and exercise.
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Avoid very low-calorie diets. In addition to slowing down your metabolism, they create rebound hunger and cause muscle mass loss, and can also be harmful to bone health.
- Maintain a stable and healthy weight.
- You can take supplements but as much as possible try to get calcium from natural food sources.
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General advice for healthy teeth
- Limit sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat foods that protect the enamel (high in calcium).
- Avoid over-brushing – you can wear down your enamel if you brush too fast and hard. Use a brush with soft bristles.
- Use fluoride-based toothpaste. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter.
- Treat heartburn and eating disorders. Severe heartburns in which acid escapes and eventually reaches your mouth can erode your enamel. Eating disorders in which people induce vomiting can also erode the enamel. 8 Ways To Ease The Symptoms Of Acidity
- Drink lots of water. 7 Tricks For Keeping Yourself Hydrated Every Day
- Avoid grinding your teeth.
- Get regular checkups for your teeth.
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