Is there a doctor in the house? Sure there is! Dr Steven Lin, in fact. Dr. Lin went on the record on US television station KTLA5 recently to help debunk some still prevalent dental myths that exist to this day. Dr. Lin is a Sydney dentist and esteemed TEDx speaker who helps promote dentistry in Australia by teaching others as much as he can about dental health.
Lin is also the author of his very own book, “The Dental Diet”, which, as the title suggests, is a diet that is geared towards healthy teeth for life. As our dentistry system in Australia is not covered by Medicare, this makes preventative dentistry (which may very well include this diet) an essential for Australians not wanting to spend thousands and thousands of dollars at the dentist.
Let’s get onto the myths that Dr. Lin debunks.
Myth 1: Braces are necessary so that kids grow up with straight teeth
In fact, you can start as soon as your children progress to solid foods to help their teeth grow in straight! Eating the wrong foods, or not enough of the right foods, during childhood can have a detrimental effect on the growth of a healthy jaw bone, and thus healthy (and straight) teeth. This is something that many parents would not have even considered to be a contributor to crooked teeth.
So how can you help your children to grow healthy jaws and help to avoid crooked teeth from this contributing factor? To do so, you will need to make sure that they are getting their daily allowance of vitamins A, D, and K2.
Myth 2: Brushing and flossing are the best preventative measures for dental health
Dr. Lin likes to compare this to having problems with a car. He says, “Do you take your car to the car wash? No! You look under the bonnet.”. While brushing and flossing are essential steps in your dental care routine, the best preventative dental care is eating the right things, having the right nutrients, and less of the bad stuff – like sugar.
Myth 3: Crooked teeth and impacted wisdom teeth are genetic
As with myth number 1, Dr. Lin relates both of these problems back to jaw growth problems, jaw growth problems that can be avoided should dental nutrition be addressed and monitored carefully during childhood. He also says that exercising the jaw can be good for this too – with habits like eating raw carrots, meat off the bone and collagenous foods among his tips for growing the jaw.
Myth 4: Bleeding gums are a pure dental problem
In fact, bleeding gums are actually representative of the function of our immune system. Poor immune system = higher risk of bleeding gums. And what can you do to boost your immune system? Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. That’s right, you’re again looking at the way that you eat as it directly relates to your dental health.
These is no denying that Dr. Lim is correct in his assessments on the value of nutrition as it relates to various dental ailments, as well as an overall guide to living a healthy life. Garbage in, garbage out they say. So swap your sugar laden juice for a water, and ditch that burger for an ancient grain salad with meat, and do your teeth and the rest of your body a favour. Even though we can slip into poor eating habits, it’s just as easy to slip back into good eating habits, especially with the help of a diet guide. And don’t forget those dental check ups!