A typical oral hygiene routine involves flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Yet did you know that what you consume can also influence the health of your teeth?
It’s recommended to limit sugar and acidic foods but the vitamins and minerals in everything else you eat can support tooth structure. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also impact oral health, through inflammation, bleeding gums and tooth loss.
To further support your brushing and flossing routine, consider consuming these 10 vitamins and minerals through food and supplements.
Calcium is a key nutrient for bone health. Our teeth also store calcium, so a deficiency may contribute to tooth decay, as your body is not receiving a sufficient amount. To reduce risk of osteoporosis, many adults are encouraged to take a calcium supplement as they age.
A range of foods can deliver this nutrient naturally, including almonds, oysters, sardines, leafy greens, broccoli, kale, sunflower seeds, mustard greens and dairy products. However, the way you prepare these foods can influence calcium content. To preserve the nutrient, avoid boiling calcium-rich foods!
Vitamin D helps your body absorb and re-mineralize calcium, so most calcium supplements also include Vitamin D. When your body is not receiving enough Vitamin D, cavities, gum inflammation and gingivitis can result. Along with supplements, certain fish, fortified grain-based products and milk offer Vitamin D.
Phosphorous also works together with calcium, helping the body absorb and allocate this mineral. The combination of phosphorus and calcium can strengthen and rebuild tooth enamel.
As most calcium supplements do not include phosphorus, you’ll need to take it separately or get it from a natural source. Phosphorus is found in meat, fish, eggs, whole grains and other protein-based foods.
Skincare products often include Vitamin C to encourage collagen growth. For your gums, Vitamin C contributes to healthy connective tissue and lessens bleeding, tooth wear and the chance of loose teeth.
Those who do not get enough Vitamin C risk developing scurvy, which can lead to tooth loss. While multi-vitamins may include a sufficient amount of Vitamin C, you can also eat citrus fruits, berries, peppers, sweet potatoes and kale for more.
Vitamin A can stimulate saliva production. Dry mouth and a decrease in saliva prevent your mouth from washing away bacteria, contributing to plaque and tooth decay. Aside from supplements, Vitamin A is found in carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, fish, eggs and kale.
Certain B vitamins support mouth health. Specifically, getting enough niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2) can decrease inflammation, including the presence of canker sores, and help soft tissue injuries heal sooner. Along with a B Vitamin supplement, dairy products, red meat, spinach and legumes are natural sources.
Vitamin E also offers anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular skincare ingredient. This vitamin has a similar effect on your mouth by decreasing oxidation. In addition to supplements, you can get Vitamin E through oil and fat-based foods, like avocados, nuts, seeds and certain fish varieties.
Potassium defends against demineralization, can lessen gum inflammation and improve healing. Many people know bananas are a common source, but the mineral is also present in avocados, milk, cheese and leafy greens.
Magnesium also helps the body absorb calcium and strengthens your bones. Considering that few foods in our diet offer a natural source, you’re encouraged to take a supplement to maintain sufficient levels.
Iron deficiencies are also connected to dental health – specifically, inflammation that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Maintaining healthy levels can be accomplished with supplements under the guidance of a doctor. You can also eat red meat, eggs and fortified grain-based products.
To learn more about how diet can impact your teeth, contact Smile Dental Center today.