Regular brushing, flossing, and routine visits to the dentist are important for good oral health, but what you eat plays a role too. There are several vitamins and minerals that are essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong. With a varied diet that includes the following nutrients, your body is much better equipped to keep oral diseases at bay.
Calcium: one of the most important nutrients for healthy bones. It's an essential building block of bone tissue, and strengthens your teeth, tooth enamel, and jawbone too.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium. Other good sources include broccoli and canned salmon.
Phosphorous: calcium doesn't work alone. It needs a supply of phosphorous in order to strengthen bones and teeth.
This mineral is plentiful in food sources: sardines, scallops, shrimp, tuna, and salmon, pumpkin seeds, lentils, soybeans, cheese, pork, and beef are all good sources of phosphorous.
Vitamin D: helps your body absorb dietary calcium. If you're low on vitamin D, your body may be calcium-deficient even if you're getting plenty in your diet.
Sun exposure activates your body's ability to make its own vitamin D. Salmon, tuna, and Portobello mushrooms are good supplemental sources. Many foods are also fortified with vitamin D, such as cereal, orange juice, and milk.
Potassium: for strong bones and teeth, potassium is almost as important as calcium. Potassium is important for another reason, too: in conjunction with magnesium it stabilizes your blood pH, preventing blood from becoming acidic enough to leach calcium from bones and teeth.
Bananas are one of the richest sources of potassium. Other good sources include Swiss chard, potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, and legumes.
Vitamin A: keeps mucous membranes healthy by preventing dry-mouth, and is important in healing, which helps your gums stay healthy too.
Egg yolks, liver, and fish are some of the best sources of vitamin A. Leafy green vegetables, oranges, apricots, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes are good sources too.
Vitamin C: protects against the early stages of gum disease by strengthening oral tissues such as the gums and mucous membranes.
Citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C, but you can also eat leafy green veggies and potatoes to boost your intake.
Vitamin K: helps your body produce proteins that support bone health, and blocks the breakdown of bone tissue. A vitamin K deficiency can slow down healing and increase wound bleeding, which can exacerbate gum disease and other oral diseases.
Up your intake of vitamin K by eating leafy green veggies, parsley, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli.
An Ounce of Prevention
In conjunction with regular dental care, a varied diet that includes all these essential vitamins and minerals is your best bet for preventing oral health problems. You can reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth loss, and improve your oral health—all while enjoying a tasty and nutritious diet.
Have other questions about your dental health? Please contact our office or schedule an appointment with Dr. Romero today!
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