It’s often the simplest things that can have a major impact on our oral health.
We’ve written before about the importance of a healthy diet in overall oral health. In this article, we explore the role of vitamins and minerals in keeping teeth healthy.
Vitamins for Healthy Teeth
Whether you get your vitamins and minerals from your food or from taking supplements, all of these natural additions to your diet are not only great sources of nutrients but can also help you maintain healthy teeth.
Vitamin A plays a vital role in keeping your gums healthy. Similar to calcium, it also helps strengthen your tooth enamel. A surprising benefit of vitamin A is that it helps keep mucous membranes healthy, which prevents dry mouth. Foods that contain vitamin A include leafy greens and orange-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, apricots, and carrots.
While this vitamin doesn’t directly benefit oral health, it aids in the absorption of calcium. Taking in lots of calcium is pointless if it is not absorbed properly. It is important to get enough vitamin D so that the calcium can get to work strengthening your enamel. Vitamin D is produced in your body through sunlight. You can also take supplements or consume it through foods that are fortified with it.
Calcium & Phosphorous
Since our teeth are mostly made up of calcium, adding extra calcium to our diet has obvious benefits. This mineral helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and jawbone. Calcium deficiency can potentially lead to tooth decay, so it is essential to get a sufficient amount in your diet. Dairy products are easy sources of calcium but this mineral can also be found in leafy greens, beans, and almonds. However, calcium needs phosphorous to build strong bones. To boost your phosphorous intake, eat foods like milk, cheese, grapes, fish, eggs, citrus fruits, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
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Iron is a mineral that is important for keeping your gums and tongue healthy. Some symptoms of iron deficiency are an inflamed tongue and mouth sores. Eat red meat, fortified cereals, and dark chocolate to sustain an iron-rich diet.
Potassium improves bone density and helps protect against weakening of your jaw which is essential to oral health. Foods high in potassium include dark leafy vegetables, avocados, cheese, bananas, and mushrooms.
Vitamins That Adversely Affect Oral Health
Not every vitamin or mineral is beneficial for your oral health. Long-term direct exposure to vitamin C, such as through chewable vitamin C pills, is destructive to tooth enamel. Avoid this by taking supplements that you swallow rather than chew, so none of the residue is left on your teeth. Another harmful mode of taking vitamins is through taking fizzy vitamin supplements that are added to drinks. The fizzy nature of these supplements demineralizes the teeth and leaves them susceptible to decay. You can mitigate this effect by drinking through a straw or taking a pill version of the vitamin.
Ask Your Dentist for Advice
If you are concerned about whether or not you should be supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals to improve your oral health, ask your dentist. We will be able to consult you on the best vitamins to take to meet your particular needs.
A healthy diet along with regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help maintain the health and strength of your teeth and gums. Your local dentist, such as our team here at Ultimate Smile Design in Palm Bay, Florida, is committed to the health and appearance of your teeth. Schedule your appointment today.