Super-Foods Help Build Super-Smiles
Calcium-fortified bread? Fluoride-fortified bottled water? A few years ago, one could find these products only in specialty health food stores. Today, they line the shelves of grocery stores across the nation-and the fortified phenomenon may be going “global”.
According to a new study in the November-December 2001 General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, rice is now being highlighted as a unique and cost-effective way to help introduce fluoride to the diets of people in part of the world that are not exposed to centralized and fluoridated water supplies.
The study cites that the addition of low concentrations of fluoride ion to the diet has proven to help reduce cavities for many communities around the world.
“If cost-effective, this study highlights an exciting opportunity to help aid countries and promote proper nutrition for increased oral and overall health,” says Gordon Isbell, III, DMD, MAGD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry.
The United States has responded to the dietary need for fluoride by fluoridating public water supplies in more than 10,000 communities since the 1940’s. In these areas, researchers and dentists conclude that the fluoridation process has aided in the prevention of cavities evident mostly in children.
The principle behind fortifying rice abroad and public water in the U.S. is the same-both seek to add a safe level of fluoride to effectively deter cavities.
According to Dr. Isbell, the likely reason new fortified foods are on the market today is because of consumer demand.
“Many parents are now seeing the ill-effects of giving their children only bottled-water. Their kids are coming in with six and seven cavities, I believe as a direct result from inadequate amounts of fluoride in the diet,” says Dr. Isbell. “Now parents who feel best about giving their kids bottled-water have an option with fluoridated bottled-water, which I recommend.”
The best advice for parents concerned with a child getting too much fluoride or calcium in the diet is to monitor a child’s intake and use of these nutrients and consult with your family dentist or physician if you have any questions.
Milk-Your mom was right, this old faithful is still a great source of calcium to help promote strong bones, teeth and help fight osteoporosis.
Calcium-fortified Juice-Many of the new calcium-fortified juices contain just as much calcium as a glass of milk. However, drink sparingly. The excessive sugar in juices may promote tooth decay.
Fluoride-fortified bottled water– Fluoridated water protects against cavities and root caries and is widely considered the most efficient way to ingest the fluoride ion. Once found only in publicly fortified water supplies, today water-bottling companies are starting to bottle the benefits of fluoride.
Calcium-fortified bread-New recipes claim 200 percent more calcium than regular bread. For picky eaters, or for those that are lactose-intolerant, this may be a good ‘alternative’ source of calcium.