Good dental care begins with a healthy, balanced diet. This is because the more nutrients you have in your body, the stronger your teeth, gums, and jawbone will be.
While it’s true that healthy teeth and gums require good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing, flossing, and even visits to your local Fairview dentist, what you eat plays a role too. When your diet lacks essential vitamins and minerals, your body is much less equipped to keep oral diseases at bay.
We know that candy, chocolates and soda are harmful to our teeth, but avoiding these is not enough. To make sure we prevent cavities and other dental problems, the best thing is to avoid sweets, or at the very least, eat them in moderation. But this is easier said than done, given our sweet tooth. So, what options can you have in your pursuit of healthy, strong teeth and a happy body? Healthy treats made of vegetables, fruit, and lean meats can be equally satisfying as sugary confections without the detriments of affecting your overall wellbeing.
This guide will walk you through a quick-and-easy list of vitamins and minerals that promote healthier teeth! We’ve taken the guesswork out, so you can always choose the right thing to eat.
Dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk are packed with nutrients that help your body absorb calcium. Dairy such as milk has long been known as a fantastic source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. It contains all nine essential amino acids that promote muscle growth, and is an excellent source of riboflavin, which helps maintain good eyesight. Calcium is also an essential building block for maintaining strong teeth and bones.
Another benefit to milk is the calcium that strengthens tooth enamel and protects your teeth from decay. The protein creates casein, a film that protects your teeth, and the milk washes away some of the acids in your mouth that would have otherwise caused damage. If you’re lactose intolerant, consider low-fat yogurt, cheese, soy or cashew milk as a perfect alternative. Calcium from these milk alternatives also helps in promoting strong teeth and bones for long-term dental care.
There’s no better health group than fruits and veggies. These nutritional powerhouses will keep your mind sharp, your heart healthy, your skin smooth, and your body lean. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that act as essential building blocks of a healthy diet. The nutrients such as vitamin B, folic acid, calcium, and fiber that only leafy greens and fruits can offer help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection. Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots and celery, are all great ways to keep your teeth healthy and help keep your breath smelling great.
Another significant benefit of fruits and vegetables is that you can enjoy snacking on healthy alternatives without worrying about the lasting effects of chocolate and candy on your oral health.
Nuts and lean proteins should also be considered for a healthy diet. Lean proteins like fish, poultry, tofu, leafy greens, egg yolks, and beans are stacked with healthy proteins. These types of foods are all high in calcium, protein, and phosphorus. Phosphorous is an important mineral as it helps improve the strength of your teeth and keeps your jawbone healthy. Having a balanced pH level also stop the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Eating a balanced diet and brushing twice a day may help prevent tooth decay and save you time, money, and pain.
A fun fact about magnesium is that it helps build strong bones and teeth. If your diet is deficient in magnesium, your body won’t be able to properly absorb calcium, which is critical for strong bone health. Add magnesium-rich foods to your diet to build strong bones and teeth, such as nuts, whole grains, rice, corn, wheat, oats, beans, and dark leafy green vegetables.
Fluoride is an essential mineral that strengthens your teeth and bones and helps to prevent tooth decay. The reason dentists love fluoride because it can re-mineralize damaged enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in dietary staples like carrots, beets, pork, beans, tomato, spinach, and grapes. Although fluoride can be found in many foods, keeping your teeth strong by drinking water and using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash is recommended.
If you’re looking for a great way to boost your oral health, keep your gums healthy, look no further than vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep your saliva flowing, which naturally cleans teeth of acids and prevents dry mouth. It’s also involved in the production of mucous in the mouth that coats cheeks and gums, making them less susceptible to infection. Some great sources of vitamin A are collard greens, carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes and fish.
B vitamins such as B2, B3, and B12 can improve your child’s oral health and eating habits. B vitamins prevent mouth sores and bad breath. Meat, fish, and poultry are excellent sources of these vitamins. Dairy, almonds, and leafy greens like spinach also contain B vitamins.
Strawberries, citrus fruits, apples, kiwis, limes, leafy vegetables, orange juice, and berries are known for their high nutritional value and expedites the healing process for cell repair. A deficiency of vitamin C is known as scurvy and can cause loose teeth, bleeding gums, and in some cases, putting you at risk of periodontal disease. When you incorporate a healthy amount of vitamin C, it is rich in antioxidants that fight gum inflammation, strengthen the connective tissues around your gums, protect against gingivitis and early stage of gum disease.
When it comes to bone health, calcium is crucial. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium while boosting bone mineral density, so if you’re trying to protect your bones, don’t forget foods that are rich in vitamin D! One way to get vitamin D is to spend time in the sun as your body will naturally make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in fatty fish (such as salmon) and canned tuna. You can also look for foods or drinks that have been fortified with vitamin D, including some dark leafy greens, whole grains, cereal, rice, and milk.
Potassium is the building block that helps keep your oral health safe by keeping your jawbone from weakening, especially if you’re missing one or more teeth. Potassium also helps with blood clotting and plays a vital role in stopping your gums from bleeding if you brush or floss too hard. High-potassium foods in your diet include bananas, avocados, squash, mushrooms, legumes, yogurt, and other dairy products such as milk.
Drinking plenty of water is just as important to dental care as eating the right foods. Water may not seem like the most exciting drink, but there is nothing better for our bodies than water. Water cleanses your mouth and keeps it hydrated to prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. While we get the appeal of sodas, sweet juices, and other sugary drinks, these beverages only feed the bacteria and damaging acids in the mouth. So instead of reaching for that, try water or milk. If you desire a flavorful beverage, some of your options include sparkling water or low-sugar fruit juice. Try unsweetened black and green teas if you like teas as they are rich in plaque-fighting components like polyphenols.
Vitamins and Minerals are essential for your dental health. Without vitamins, you cannot stay healthy and maintain a healthy, functioning body. By doing your part of eating right, your body will thank you. But don’t forget to see your Fairview dentist regularly! At Sloan Creek Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with the best dental care experience possible. Find out how a customized treatment plan can help you achieve your oral healthcare goals!