The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Teeth
When it comes to looking after your teeth, it takes more than just brushing, flossing and mouthwash to keep them in good shape. Your diet is also a massive factor in promoting healthy teeth and gum health, and there is a broad range of vitamins and minerals you need to consume that are essential building blocks for the ultimate dental hygiene protection.
But what, exactly, are these vitamins and minerals? And where can you find them so that you can use them in your regular diet? We’re going to explain some of the most important ingredients for a healthy set of teeth and gums – let’s take a closer look.
No one should be surprised that calcium is vital for healthy teeth. Your teeth – and your jaw and bones, for that matter – are predominately made from calcium, and if you don’t have enough of it in your diet, it could cause you gum disease and tooth decay. Calcium gives your teeth structure and strength, and can even help fight against osteoporosis starting to occur in the bone tissue around your teeth. And where can you find it? Dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese are famously high in calcium content, of course. But you can also find high levels of the mineral in vegetables such as cauliflower, green, leafy veggies, and cabbage. It’s also in some nuts – almonds, for example – and beans.
Iron is, of course, vital to the entire length and breadth of your body. However, regarding your teeth, it plays a major role in maintaining the red blood cell levels in your mouth. A good red blood cell count helps give your immune system a boost against nasty oral infections and gum disease. Make sure you are eating plenty of red meat, green, leafy veggies, eggs, and cereals to ensure your teeth and gums are getting enough iron.
If you want to give your teeth and gums superpowers, ensure your diet contains lots of foods such as kale, peppers, carrots and spinach. Why? Because all of them are packed full of Vitamin A, which is critical for good oral health. Vitamin A helps your mucous membranes produce healthy saliva, and in turn, will assist your mouth to heal quickly and cover your tongue, gums, and cheeks with the healthy coating needed to ward off nasty conditions.
The Vitamin B family contains many different branches, so let’s break them down a little. Vitamin B3 – or Niacin – is relevant for oral health as if you don’t have enough, you will be susceptible to bad breath and sores known as cankers. Eat plenty of chicken and fish to ensure you are topped up correctly. Vitamin B12 and B2 (riboflavin) is found in red meat, liver, pork, chicken and fish, and will protect you against many different types of mouth sore.
Vitamin C is another body essential that plays a unique role in dental hygiene and health. If you don’t consume enough Vitamin C, you can end up with loose teeth and severely bleeding gums – which can obviously lead to a whole host of other problems. Vit C is also handy for preventing general gum inflammation and helps your connective tissues repair themselves after suffering damage. Oranges and citrus fruits are an obvious example of high Vit C foods, but you should also try and eat vegetables like kale and broccoli, as well as other fruits like berries. With regards to fruit juices – another well-known source of Vitamin C – be careful. While it will give your teeth a boost, orange juice will also leave a lot of sugar residue without proper cleaning.
Earlier on we discussed how calcium is vital to your dental hygiene. The trouble is – strange as it might seem – it’s incredibly difficult for your body actually to absorb calcium. The solution is Vitamin D. It helps your body’s ability to absorb and regulate calcium, as well as preventing gum inflammation and controlling phosphorus production. Vitamin D is notoriously difficult to get during winter months, as humans primarily get their fix from the sun. However, eating plenty of dairy, fatty dishes, and breakfast cereals can help you top up when the days start to shorten. You can also take cod liver oil supplements to boost Vitamin D levels.
If you want to defend your teeth and gums from all kinds of different oral health conditions, you need some sort of guard or shield. There are plenty of substances that you eat that can break down bone and teeth, and it’s Vitamin K that will provide the buffer. Not only that, but it also gives your teeth added strength, as Vit K can help your body produce a protein called osteocalcin. Again, leafy greens and kale are your friends, here, and you can also eat plenty of broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
There have been many different research papers on fluoride, but there is no denying it is essential for a healthy set of teeth. It strengthens your teeth and gums and offers a lot of protection against gum disease and tooth decay. And you’ll find that it can also help restore weakness in your enamel – another important defense against nasty oral conditions.
Finally, a little word about potassium. You can find this essential mineral in all kinds of foods, from squashes and legumes through to avocados and bananas. It’s present in milk and cheese, too, as well as mushrooms. Potassium is vital to help fight against many of the substances that are in your mouth that can start breaking down your bones and teeth. It’s also a handy tool for helping your blood clot in the event that you get a cut or nick in your mouth. Again, this is an important part of protecting your mouth against infection.
There are plenty more vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy mouth, of course, But these essential building blocks of good dental hygiene are critical. Make sure you are consuming plenty of the foods listed above if you want to avoid oral health issues. Good luck!
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