You may wonder why some people have issues with tartar buildup and some do not. It might not be because they don’t have good dental hygiene, although that can be a risk factor for developing tartar. Their diet could be the cause of the sticky plaque that can develop into tartar. As the American Dental Association (ADA) cautions, remember that your mouth is your body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. Not only your overall health but also your teeth and gum health are impacted by the foods you eat.
What Is Tartar?
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is “hardened dental plaque that can form on your teeth, both above and below your gum line.” A dentist or dental hygienist must remove the tartar. Unlike plaque, you cannot get rid of tartar yourself by brushing or flossing.
What Causes Tartar?
We all know that eating a diet of nutrient-dense foods is a key to good health. But you may not know that it can also help you keep your teeth healthy and strong. If you eat a diet of acellular carbohydrates – the carbs found in flour, sugar, and grains – you may suffer from inflammation in your digestive tract, commonly known as “leaky gut.” Not only will these nutrient-deficient foods negatively affect your gut microbiome’s health, but they may also be the source of inflammation in your mouth that can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
A diet of these simple carbohydrates or “white foods” lacks the nutrients to fuel your body and can contribute to a Vitamin K2 deficiency. This deficiency can also lead to a buildup of tartar. Vitamin K2 directs the calcium where to go in teeth and bones, but if there isn’t enough Vitamin K2, the calcium will accumulate on your teeth and arteries instead.
What Foods Can Help Protect Against Tartar?
The good news is that there are foods that are not only good for you and your waistline, but they can also help prevent plaque from forming on your teeth so you can avoid tartar buildup. Some of these foods include:
- Leafy greens – Leafy greens like spinach and dark green lettuce are rich in calcium and folic acid to fight against plaque.
- Dairy products – Milk and cheese contain calcium and phosphorus, which can restore minerals in your enamel. They also create more saliva, a proven defense against plaque buildup.
- Apples and berries – The antioxidants in these fruits help fight bacteria that can affect the overall health and integrity of your teeth.
- Meat and fish – These high-protein foods also contain phosphorus, which, like dairy products, can keep your teeth strong and protect against plaque and tartar buildup.
At Babylon Dental Care, we care about your teeth and overall health. Through regular dental check-ups, we can evaluate and remove any harmful tartar buildup. We also want to help you take a proactive approach to changing your diet to support a healthy weight and smile. Call (631) 983-6665 today to schedule an appointment.