March is National Nutrition Month, and while we all know eating foods rich in nutrients is important for good health, it is equally important for good oral health. Daily brushing and flossing are only one aspect of maintaining strong teeth. Check out these essential vitamins and minerals needed to help keep your smile healthy and happy!
Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorous
These three vitamins and minerals go hand in hand in protecting your teeth and keeping them strong. Calcium and phosphorus combined make up a substance known as crystalline calcium phosphate which is what forms the tooth enamel. This enamel surrounds and protects the inner parts of the tooth.
Additionally, calcium is needed in bone, formation. This plays a role in the strength and structural integrity your jawbone needs to keep the tooth roots in the sockets.
Your tooth enamel may deteriorate more quickly than it can repair itself if you don’t consume enough calcium, which increases your risk of developing cavities and other dental problems. Inadequate levels of bone calcium could potentially lead to tooth loss.
Without adequate amounts of Vitamin D and phosphorus, the intake of calcium would not be as effective. Phosphorus is needed to help calcium maximize its bone-strengthening benefits. Whereas Vitamin D regulates the body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus, promoting absorption. This vitamin also contributes to the decrease of gum inflammation that’s associated with periodontal disease.
What to Eat:
Calcium: Milk, cheese, yogurt
Vitamin D: fatty fish, canned tuna and mushrooms
Phosphorous: scallops, sardines, cod, shrimp, tuna, salmon, beef, pork, lentils
The main contribution of Vitamin C is keeping your gums and the soft tissues in your mouth healthy by strengthening blood vessels and the connective tissue between your teeth and jawbone. As a powerful antioxidant, this vitamin helps reduce inflammation which can protect you against gum disease.
What to Eat: citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach
This vitamin aids in saliva production. By helping keep saliva flowing, Vitamin A protects your teeth from dry mouth and naturally cleans your teeth from any damaging acids.
What to Eat: leafy green vegetables, orange vegetables, liver, fish, eggs
Along with keeping a healthy diet and at-home dental routine, be sure to have a professional cleaning every six months. Schedule your next appointment at Beall Dental Center!