Dental care goes beyond brushing and flossing. Your gums and teeth need vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. In this article, we will discuss what vitamins and minerals you need for good oral health, and why they are good for you.
This vitamin plays an important role for development of your tooth and healthy tooth enamel (outer coating of your teeth). Another great benefit of vitamin A is maintenance of healthy flow of saliva in your mouth, as well as maintenance of healthy mucous membranes. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and other harmful substances from your mouth. Vitamin A keeps gums and tissues in the mouth healthy.
- Good sources of Vitamin A are: Beef, liver, cheese, milk, eggs, and fish. Additionally, mangoes, carrots, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene which transforms into Vitamin A in our body.
Vitamin B12 and B2
The insufficient level of these vitamins in your body can cause the appearance of canker sores in tongue, gums, and soft tissues in your mouth. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 and B2 (riboflavin) can also make the gingivitis more severe.
Good sources of Vitamin B12 are: spinach, almonds, whole-wheat pasta.
- Sources of Vitamin B2 are: red meat, pork, liver, chicken, fish, yoghurt, milk, and cheese.
This vitamin is essential for strong teeth and gums. Also, Vitamin C is beneficial for corrective tissue and collagen in the gums. Deficiency of Vitamin C can cause swollen gums, bleeding, loose teeth, and affects the gum’s tissues. When you eat foods rich with Vitamin C, your bones get stronger and the maintenance of the teeth is improved.
- Sources of Vitamin C are: strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes.
NOTE: The intake of Vitamin C with bioflavonoid prevents the formation of plaque around the teeth. Bioflavonoid sources are oranges, apricots, cherries etc.
Vitamin D is beneficial for protecting your teeth from decay. Also, this vitamin helps your body absorb calcium and it is recommended to use it with calcium-rich foods. Deficiency of Vitamin D leads to the burning mouth syndrome (indicated by the pain the mouth that is burning or tingling, along with numbness, dry mouth, and altered sense of taste).
- Good sources of Vitamin D are: eggs, fish, milk, and cod liver oil.
This vitamin is a very powerful antioxidant which is beneficial for recovery of mouth tissues. Also, Vitamin E reduces the soreness of gums in teething children.
- Sources of Vitamin E are: sunflower seeds, tomato paste, turnip green, and peanut butter.
Calcium is highly important for out overall health. Good level of calcium in our body helps maintaining your teeth in a good shape. Our jaws and teeth are consisted of calcium which means its regular intake can protect our teeth’s enamel. In order to make your teeth stronger, it is needed to consume higher levels of calcium because low level of calcium is reabsorbed into bloodstream. Another benefit of calcium is the fact it prevents osteoporosis which can cause weak bone tissues around your teeth.
- Dairy products are good sources of calcium, but other calcium-rich foods include: sardines, green leafy vegetables, salmon, cauliflower, almonds, cabbage, soy milk, oysters, and beans.
Iron and Phosphorus
Insufficient level of iron can cause inflammations on your tongue and appearance of sores on the inside of your mouth. On the other hand, phosphorus is the constituent of our teeth and bones, along with calcium.
- Good sources of iron are: red meat, liver, bran cereals, spices, and some nuts.
- Good sources of phosphorus are: protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and dairy products.
Read to know: High Protein Diet: Pros and Cons You Should Know!
Healthy level of zinc in our body prevents the growth of bacteria in our mouth. Also, it reduces build-up plaque on your gums.
- Sources of zinc are: cereal, wheat, beef, cheese, and wild rice.
Magnesium strengthens the enamel and protects your teeth from cavities.
- Good sources of magnesium are: dark chocolate, kale, and spinach.
It heals gum tissues, reduces pain and bleeding connected with gum disease. Also, Coenzyme Q10 reduces inflammation in gums.
- Sources of Coenzyme Q10 are: beef, chicken liver, and parsley.
What Foods to Avoid?
In order to protect your dental health, and the overall health along the way, you should avoid:
- Carbohydrates – When they are stuck on your teeth they turn into acids which can lead to cavities. Carbohydrates-rich foods are: chips, crackers, bread etc.
- Sticky Foods – They usually get stuck on your teeth which makes it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away. Good examples of these foods are raisins, jelly beans, granola bars, caramels, and syrup.
- Sugary Snacks – They cause tooth decay. Some of them are: cookies, cakes, and various desserts.
- Gum and Candy – They lead to cavities.
- Carbonated Drinks – They affect enamel on your teeth.
In order to protect our teeth, gums, and to improve the dental health it is necessary to eat vitamin-rich foods that prevent infections, cavities, inflammations.