Keeping a strong oral health regimen goes far beyond the bathroom and the dentist’s chair. It also depends on what people do and don’t put in their mouths on an everyday basis. Vitamins and minerals are vital to keeping one’s mouth in shape. Neglecting this key area can be just as big a contributor to tooth decay and gum disease as not brushing one’s teeth enough or missing dental visits.
The question is – what vitamins and minerals are important? Here is a list of some of the more necessary ones that benefit both the teeth and gums.
When people first think of calcium, they think about it strengthening the bones of the body. Well, the teeth are important bones. They need calcium to stay strong and durable for things like chewing on food and biting. Otherwise, there is the very real risk that, like the other bones in the body, they can get brittle and crack or break.
Fortunately, there is a lot of calcium in one of people’s favorite foods – cheese. It’s also in other dairy products like milk or yogurt. As delicious as it may be, eating pizza every day is not the solution. Vegans can eat great leafy vegetables or take supplements.
Just like famous rock duos Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates, phosphorus works in tandem with calcium to give people healthy teeth. This isn’t only relegated to oral health – the whole body needs this since it also helps repair body tissue.
People can get phosphorus from easy-to-find sources like dairy, eggs, legumes, meat, and nuts. Dried fruit, carbonated beverages, and whole grains are also good foods for this. The majority of people get this through everyb
Anybody who has read a history book or is a fan of pirates know that this vitamin plays a big part in tooth and gum health. Otherwise it’s “Arrrrr, scurvy!” This is a condition that causes bleeding gums and even worse gum disease. It’s better to contain one’s pirate-like tendencies to “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”
What is the best source of vitamin C? A lot of citrus fruits have them – though it’s best to brush one’s teeth after eating them since they tend to have a lot of natural sugars in them. Berries and Brussels sprouts are also good sources and other fruits and vegetables as well. Eating them can be of dual benefit- since they can help the person’s body overall with their daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
This vitamin is important because it plays a big part in how the body absorbs calcium. It can also aid in bone mineral density. People need both of these to be in good working condition so that their teeth can be strong.
It’s usually easy for people to get this naturally – just walk out into the sunlight- with proper sunscreen, of course. Foods like tuna,portobello mushrooms, soy milk, and cereals have it.
While other vitamins aid in strengthening teeth and improving gum tissue, this one also helps with tooth enamel, which is very important in terms of protecting teeth from bacteria.
The foods that have the most Vitamin A all tend to be the same color – orange. Sweet potatoes and carrots both have it.
Like some of the other things listed here, this mineral also helps in doing some of the same roles as some vitamins. In this case, potassium also helps with some similar things like the vitamin listed above – Vitamin D. It helps with bone mineral density.
Bananas are full of potassium as well as avocados, lima beans,prunes, and tomatoes.
These are just some of the vitamins and minerals that can keep one’s teeth and gums in excellent shape. Other ones can help prevent canker sores and also help fight bad breath. Of course, this is only a small part of an oral health regimen – properly brushing and flossing each day plays a major role.
Dr. Robert Trager has helped patients with all aspects of their teeth for many years. He will be glad to answer any nutritional questions during a check-up. Give him a call at 718-656-4747.
Dr. Robert M. Trager
Building 14 West Wing
Jamaica NY 11430