Daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine dental checkups and cleanings, are essential elements of a strong oral health routine, but not everyone knows the effects that the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that we consume have on our oral health. Read on to learn about what vitamins and minerals are most beneficial for the teeth and gums, as well as which foods you can add to your diet to ensure you are getting all of these important nutrients. The saying ‘You are what you eat’ applies to the state of your oral health as well, and what we put into our bodies can have profound effects on our overall health and wellness.
Calcium isn’t just essential for bone health, it also helps to support strong and healthy teeth. In fact, calcium is regarded as one of the most important minerals within the human body because of its role in forming and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Consuming calcium each day can be pretty simple and straightforward. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in calcium and are easy for the body to absorb. Calcium-rich vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and bok choy are great options, as are nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, and seeds such as sesame and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin D plays a major role in keeping our teeth healthy, and research has shown that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a variety of oral health problems. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the mineralization of teeth and bones. Some of the oral health issues that are linked to vitamin D deficiency are cavities, gum inflammation, and gum disease. Consuming such things as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, and herring) as well as vitamin D fortified foods (such as milk and breakfast cereals) are great ways to ensure your body is getting enough of this vitamin.
Phosphorus is also an essential mineral for maintaining healthy teeth. Phosphorus works to help the body absorb calcium, as well as strengthen teeth by protecting them and rebuilding the enamel of the teeth. Adding more phosphorus into your diet is as easy as consuming more meat, dairy, eggs, legumes, and whole grains.
Vitamin A is known for being good for the eyes and skin, but this vitamin is also great for oral health. Vitamin A helps to support the production of saliva, which helps to break down foods and clean bacteria and debris from between the teeth. Foods that are high in Vitamin A include orange-coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers are a great way to incorporate more vitamin A into your diet. Fish and egg yolks are also high in vitamin A.
Vitamin C is great for your teeth, as well as for the gum tissues. Vitamin C works to keep the connective tissues in the mouth strong and healthy, which in turn work to keep the teeth in place. A vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding gums, and ultimately lead to gum disease. Vitamin C can also help in the prevention of enamel erosion. Adding vitamin C-rich foods into your diet such as citrus fruits, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, berries, kale, and broccoli can help your body to reap the benefits of this essential vitamin.
Potassium & Magnesium
Potassium and magnesium are essential minerals that regulate acidity levels in the bloodstream. When acidity levels in the blood increase, this can cause the calcium from the teeth and jawbones to be stripped, which can weaken them. Some of the best foods to eat to increase potassium and magnesium in your diet include avocados, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, prunes, and lima beans.
Vitamin K is another essential vitamin that works to block harmful substances that can cause weakening of the bones, as well as stimulate osteocalcin production. Osteocalcin is a type of protein that strengthens the bones. A vitamin K deficiency can cause a delay in the body’s natural healing processes, which can make your gums and gum tissue more prone to bleeding. Foods that are rich in vitamin K include leafy greens (spinach, kale, cabbage, lettuce) fresh herbs such as parsley and brussels sprouts.
While eating a healthy, balanced diet is highly important for your overall health as well as being essential for keeping your teeth and gums strong, maintaining good oral hygiene habits, and visiting your dentist regularly for thorough checkups and cleanings are vital parts of keeping your mouth and teeth strong and healthy. Contact our Guelph dentist’s office today to learn more about how we can support your oral health and provide you with the best dental care possible!