Vitamins & Minerals
We all want healthy teeth. You may be interested to know how your diet can affect the health of your teeth and your overall oral health. Delta Dental released an article that highlights the top vitamins and minerals your mouth needs. Here’s an overview of the top 4 and great sources of each to integrate into your diet:
You probably aren’t surprised to hear that calcium is a highly beneficial mineral for the health of your teeth. Calcium is used throughout our bodies to build bones and provide structural support. Calcium helps protect your teeth against periodontal (gum) disease and helps to strengthen its enamel. Your jawbone also needs calcium to remain strong and healthy.
Foods that contain the highest levels of calcium include: dairy (such as milk, cheese and yogurt), broccoli, certain leafy green vegetables, calcium-fortified juices and breakfast cereals, and canned sardines and salmon.
#2: Vitamin C
We correlate the value of vitamin C with boosting our immune system. Did you know that vitamin C also strengthens your gums and the soft tissue in your mouth? In this way, it can protect against early gum disease (known as gingivitis) and prevent the loosening of your teeth. If you suffer from bleeding gums and your dentist rules out poor dental hygiene, reassess your diet to ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin C.
Many fruits and vegetables including berries, oranges and cantaloupe, as well as green vegetables including broccoli and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin C. Other foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include: a range of citrus fruits, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Try to get your vitamin C consumption primarily from actual fruits and vegetables rather than juices, as the acidity of the juices can promote erosion of the tooth enamel. Juices in moderation are fine, but are recommended to be consumed with meals or with a straw to minimize their impact on your teeth.
#3: Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a vital role in our overall system health and is intricately linked to every system in your body. When your body is deficient in Vitamin D, it causes all sorts of health issues. Vitamin D is critical for many reasons, but in particular as it helps your body absorb the calcium in your system. It also boosts bone mineral density. In fact, dental cavities and a Vitamin D deficiency often go hand in hand. In order for the calcium in your system to actually benefit your mouth and teeth, you need to ensure you have enough vitamin D in your diet as well.
Vitamin D can be found a variety of protein-rich foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, and nuts/seeds. Foods with the highest levels of vitamin D include: Fatty fish, mushrooms, canned tuna, and egg yolk. You can also get a dose of vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
#4: Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps prevent against dry mouth, as it helps keep mucous membranes healthy. This also aid in quick healing within the mouth.
Foods with high levels of vitamin A include: orange fruits and vegetables (such as oranges, apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots), liver, and leafy greens.
You can find a handy .pdf of these critical vitamins and minerals and their best food sources here to help you remember what foods will help your mouth stay healthy. The intake of these building blocks is so important for your dental health.
To maintain the best oral health possible, integrate them into your diet to help support and boost your overall mouth care regimen. We at River Valley Smiles are your partners in dental health.