Surf City Dental always encourages our patients to practice good dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing daily. Today, however, we want to talk about how you can support healthy teeth and gums from the inside out!
We all know that vitamins and minerals are essential in keeping the body healthy and strong, but did you know that these nutrients are also important for oral wellbeing?
Just like the rest of the body, teeth and gums need vitamins and minerals to thrive. In this article, we’ll focus on calcium and vitamins A, C, and D. However, other nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins K and B are important to oral health as well.
Ready to drill into how these vitamins and minerals can keep you smiling bright? Read on!
Of course, calcium is best known for its ability to support strong bones, but it’s valuable in fortifying teeth as well. Calcium helps harden tooth enamel and strengthens the jawbone. If your body’s calcium levels are too low, it may compensate by removing the mineral from the teeth and bones.
Sources of calcium:
Calcium is found in a variety of foods, including leafy greens, almonds, sardines, oysters,
and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
This vitamin supports oral health by keeping the salivary glands active. Vitamin A helps mucous membranes remain healthy, which contributes to saliva production and deters dry mouth. Because saliva helps wash away bacteria and plaque inside the mouth, vitamin A also assists in preventing tooth decay. Additionally, it supports immune functions and can help your mouth heal more quickly from injuries or sores.
Sources of vitamin A:
Fish, egg yolks, liver, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots are all great sources of this essential vitamin.
Next up is vitamin C, one of the body’s main collagen producers. Collagen is a crucial component of connective tissue in the body. When it comes to oral health, this connective tissue helps hold teeth in place. A few of the benefits vitamin C has on your mouth include:
- Fighting gum disease and bleeding gums
- Reducing tooth erosion
- Repairing tissue and strengthening the gum’s lining, which helps to reduce bacteria and infections
Sources of vitamin C:
Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, and grapefruit are good sources of vitamin C; however, they also contain ascorbic acid, which can erode tooth enamel. If you choose to get your vitamin C by eating citrus fruits, be sure to follow a thorough oral hygiene routine to keep the ascorbic acid from damaging tooth enamel and causing future problems. Ask your Surf City Dental practitioner for some tips on the most effective hygiene practices!
Taking a vitamin C supplement as part of a daily diet could be a good alternative to help you avoid the damage citrus fruits can cause. Potatoes and leafy greens contain significant amounts of this vitamin as well.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about vitamin D. This nutrient improves the functionality of the immune and musculoskeletal systems. It also helps the body more efficiently absorb calcium, which as we’ve discussed, is important for strong teeth. Furthermore, vitamin D is critical for gum health. It boosts the body’s antibacterial defense system, helping to maintain healthy gum tissue and reduce inflammation in the gums.
Sources of vitamin D:
Many people have vitamin D deficiency, but there are plenty of ways to up your intake of this nutrient. For example, the body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Spending just 15 minutes a day in the sun can increase your levels!
Fatty fish, canned tuna, and portabella mushrooms are all good sources of vitamin D too. Additionally, you can often find foods and beverages, like milk, orange juice, and cereal, that are fortified with it.
Keeping your teeth and gums dazzling is our #1 priority at Surf City Dental. When you combine a comprehensive oral hygiene routine with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform at its best, your smile will shine with the benefits!