Vitamins, Minerals, And Your Teeth
Everyone knows that a healthy, balanced diet is essential to your overall health, and you probably also know that it helps your dental health as well, since a body well-supplied with necessary nutrients can heal faster and has a stronger immune system.
But beyond the general picture, let’s take a deeper look into what specific vitamins and minerals do for your teeth, and the foods you can get them from.
Teeth are after all mostly made of calcium, so if there’s one tooth ingredient you know you can’t do without, it’s this mineral. The recommended daily amount for an adult is about 1,000 mg, though older women need a little more.
Milk is the best-known source of calcium but you can also get it from cheese, broccoli, kale, cabbage, soy products. Nuts, beans, and some kinds of fish (sardine or salmon) can also provide it.
When it comes to teeth, vitamin D is like calcium’s sidekick. It helps the body’s rate of calcium absorption, ensuring there is always an ample supply for tooth and bone health. Your body can produce vitamin D on its own, and the best way to speed that along is it get enough sunlight (just be sure to take smart precautions if you burn easily).
In addition to what your body produces, you can get some outside vitamin D help from soy and dairy products, and from fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
Potassium is a mineral, but it functions a little like vitamin D by contributing to bone mineral density, which means stronger jaws and teeth. Bananas are the most common choice for potassium-rich food since they’re tasty and convenient, but you can also get it from avocados, tomatoes, and lima beans.
Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen, which is a key building block of much of your body. In this case, collagen helps healthy gums, both to secure teeth in place and to fight infections. You can find it in citrus fruits, but be careful because the citric acid can soften tooth enamel if you have a lot of it. It can also be found in most fresh vegetables, including sweet peppers, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, turnips, and Brussels sprouts.
Like Potassium, this is another mineral that can boost the body’ calcium absorption, so it too helps strengthen bones and teeth. You can get phosphorus from basically all seafood, but also from pumpkin seeds, lentils, and soy products.
Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 mainly helps your metabolism get energy from food, but the lack of it leads to bad breath and canker sores. The best sources of it are fish, poultry, and meat. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can get it from sunflower seeds, sweet peppers, portobello mushrooms, and potatoes.
Vitamins B12 and B2
These also work against canker sores and can be found in the same meats as well as in dairy. You can also get them from almonds and spinach.
Hopefully you’re already getting most of these in your existing diet, and if you’re missing one, you can easily fix it with a small adjustment. If it’s more convenient for your lifestyle, most of these can be found at a pharmacy as dietary supplements, so you have multiple options.
Talk to your Dentist about How Diet Can Impact Your Health
If you want to talk about how your diet may be affecting your oral health, or if you have any other questions, Apple Valley Dental Group will be happy to help. Just call our office at 540-635-2493 or visit us on the website.