Daily brushing and flossing are important for maintaining healthy oral hygiene and overall health. The types of foods and drinks you consume also play a vital role. It’s no news that diets rich in clean proteins, whole grains, veggies, and fruits boost the way you grow physically, mentally, and orally.
Parents often ask us what variety of foods are best for healthy teeth and gums, so Dr. Harish Patel and Dr. Surabhi Swarup have compiled this list of 7 important vitamins and minerals for your oral health. We will help you eat your way to strong teeth and a healthy smile.
Important Vitamins for Your Teeth
Vitamin C is essential for strengthening your gums and the soft tissues in your mouth. It produces a structural protein called collagen, a vital part of the gums. When people are Vitamin C deficient, they usually experience painful, inflamed, and bleeding gums.
When you eat food rich in Vitamin C, you strengthen the connective tissues in your gums, which keeps your teeth firm and help prevent gum disease.
Citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C, and drinks such as orange juice contain Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin A. However, you should drink juice in moderation because it contains a lot of sugar and has no fiber.
Vitamin C also can be obtained from potatoes, peppers, berries, and leafy greens. We recommend you eat the rainbow when it comes to Vitamin C.
Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium and strengthens the teeth. It boosts the health of your gums by increasing the body’s immune system, maintaining the health of your gums, and reducing inflammation in the gums.
Naturally, our body makes Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but you can also get Vitamin D from fatty fish and canned tuna. Other foods rich in Vitamin D include red meat, milk, eggs, certain cereals, and bread.
Vitamin K acts as a teeth protector. It helps fight against substances that weaken the bones and teeth and assists in osteocalcin production. Furthermore, Vitamin K helps speed up your oral healing process.
Foods that contain Vitamin K include broccoli, eggs, kale salad, hard cheeses, leafy greens, spinach frittata, chicken, and pork.
Most people associate Vitamin A with maintaining good eyesight, but it also helps develop healthy teeth. Vitamin A helps you with saliva production in your mouth, which reduces acidity after eating. This makes it less likely for you to develop tooth decay and prevents tooth enamel erosion.
You can get a substantial amount of Vitamin A from fish, egg yolks, and oranges. Oranges contain lots of beta-carotene, which converts into Vitamin A in the body. You are already on the right path if you love fruits such as apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, or carrots.
Important Minerals for Your Teeth
Tooth enamel is composed mainly of calcium. By eating a diet rich in calcium, you help keep your enamel layer strong. Strong enamel defends the teeth against tooth decay and cavities.
The majority of the calcium in your body is stored in the bones and teeth. Therefore, watching your calcium intake is vital to help you maintain strong and thick bones. To effectively harness the best of this mineral, health experts suggest pairing it with Vitamin D.
There is plenty of food fortified with calcium, so you can still get the amount of calcium you need regardless of your dietary restrictions. Milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt are suitable choices. Soybeans, calcium-rich bread, oatmeal, broccoli, collard greens, and figs are a few other calcium-enriched foods you can try.
Potassium is a necessary mineral for healthy teeth and gums. Just like Vitamin D, it enhances the mineral density of the bones. It combines with magnesium to prevent your blood from becoming too acidic, eroding calcium off your bones and teeth.
Potassium is also important in blood clotting and helps gum tissue heal faster. If you are experiencing bleeding gums from a tooth injury, potassium will help you heal quickly.
Bananas are one of the major foods that contain a high percentage of potassium. They serve as a great grab-and-go snack for the whole family. Other potassium sources include avocados, milk, potatoes, yogurt, and cheese.
Phosphorus helps you benefit the most from the calcium you consume to maintain stronger teeth. Phosphorus protects you against plaque and cavities by rebuilding and strengthening tooth enamel.
Phosphorus pairs best with food containing calcium and Vitamin D. You can get it from milk, seafood like salmon and tuna, beans, red meat, and whole grains.
See Your Indian Trail Dentist for Better Oral Health
You can get vitamins and minerals for healthy teeth and gums through a variety of foods. However, if you’re showing early signs of gum disease, we offer oral health exams and cleanings in Indian Trail, NC, to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We can work together to form a diet plan to help you with your dental health. Contact us today or book an appointment to get the conversation started.