Did you know that you can practically eat your way to a healthy and beautiful smile?
When it comes to consuming vitamins and nutrients, your mouth is one of the most important parts of your body that needs those extra vitamins and nutrients to thrive. By eating foods or taking supplements that contain the right vitamins and nutrients, you can achieve healthy teeth and gums, fight off infection, and maintain excellent oral health.
There are several vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial for your teeth and gums. There are too many to list them all here – but to help you understand which ones will help your smile the most, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most valuable vitamins and nutrients, and some of the foods you can find them in.
What Vitamins and Minerals Are Good for My Teeth?
Below is a list of some of the key vitamins and minerals that are important to consume, either in food or supplements, for keeping your teeth and gums healthy:
Most of us know that calcium is good for our teeth – it helps harden the enamel and strengthen the jawbone. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, you run the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Your teeth and bones are largely made up of calcium, so including additional calcium in your diet helps keep them strong. Why do you need additional calcium? The answer involves simple science.
If your body doesn’t get enough calcium from the food you eat, it will automatically take the calcium it needs from your bones. In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen and that the bones supporting your mouth stay healthy and sturdy, be sure to include foods in your diet that are rich in calcium.
What you can eat to get enough calcium: milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, broccoli, almonds, beans, salmon, sardines, and leafy green vegetables.
You’ve probably heard that vitamin A is good for your eyes, but it’s also really good for your mouth. It promotes saliva production, which is essential for cleaning bacteria and food particles from between your teeth and gums. Vitamin A also helps keep mucous membranes healthy, preventing dry mouth and helping your lips heal quickly from anything that occurs in the area.
What you can eat to get enough vitamin A: fish, liver, dark leafy greens, egg yolks, and orange-colored fruits and vegetables like oranges, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots.
The B vitamins, especially niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2), help to ward off mouth sores and inflamed gums. If you are prone to an inflamed tongue or gums, or if you sometimes get canker sores in your mouth, try incorporating more of these vitamins into your everyday diet.
What you can eat to get enough B vitamins: red meat, fish, poultry, spinach, beans, almonds, and dairy products.
Vitamin C helps strengthen your gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. By consuming vitamin C, it can help protect you from gingivitis, or gum disease, and can prevent your teeth from becoming loose.
What you can eat to get enough vitamin C: citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, leafy greens, and peppers.
Iron helps keep your red blood cell counts normal, allowing your immune system to fight against infection and disease. You need iron to prevent gum disease and infections in your mouth.
What you can eat to get enough iron: red meats, eggs, bran, and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin D allows your body to absorb calcium and boost bone mineral density. It is essential to your oral health because without it, your mouth would become calcium-deficient and be prone to tooth decay and gum disease.
Your body naturally makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight; therefore, being exposed to direct sunlight for 15 minutes each day can be beneficial. There are also many foods you can eat that are rich in vitamin D.
What you can eat to get enough vitamin D: milk, eggs, fatty fish, canned tuna, portabella mushrooms, and cod liver oil.
Should I Take Vitamins?
Normally, a balanced and healthy diet can provide you with the vitamins you need to maintain oral health. However, some people may need supplements of the vitamins and minerals they need, especially if there is a category of foods they eat very infrequently or not at all – such as red meats or fruits.
If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough of these vitamins and minerals through your normal diet, you can speak to your dentist or doctor about possibly adding supplements. With your dentist’s help, you can identify which vitamins are best for you to maintain excellent oral health.
Skilled Dentist in St. Paul
Dr. Steven Hagerman of Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Minneapolis/St. Paul has extensive knowledge of how certain vitamins and minerals can help you achieve optimal oral and dental health.
To schedule an appointment or consultation and to receive the utmost in advanced, personalized care, please call our office at (651) 646-2392. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to taking care of you and keeping that smile bright.