Great oral health starts with taking care of your gums and teeth with regular brushing and flossing. But, don’t forget that what you consume affects not only your general health, but your oral health as well.
You know that eating candy and sweets frequently can contribute to the development of cavities. Cavities and gum disease can cause even more significant dental problems. Moreover, sugary snacks contribute to inflammation in your body — they’re bad for your overall health.
Besides avoiding sweets and engaging in regular oral hygiene, there are other ways you can positively impact your oral health. Overall nutrition plays an important long-term role in your dental health. Good nutrition that provides all the right vitamins and minerals helps strengthen your gums and teeth. Poor nutrition or deficiencies in certain vitamins can contribute to bad breath, canker sores, gum infections, and tooth decay.
Which vitamins and minerals are most important for your oral health?
Vitamin A – helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and ensures the ability to heal quickly. You can get your dose of Vitamin A from foods that have high amounts of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Good sources of this vitamin include leafy green vegetables, orange-colored fruits and vegetables, fish, liver, and egg yolks.
Vitamin B – acts as an anti-inflammatory, aiding in the prevention of gum soreness, bleeding gums, and sores on the tongue and mouth corners. Vitamin B3 deficiency can result in canker sores and bad breath while B2 and B12 deficiency can lead to mouth sores and severe gingivitis. Good sources of vitamin B3 include fish and chicken. Vitamin B2 is found in spinach, almonds, mushrooms, beans, and whole grain pasta. Lastly, vitamin B12 is found in red meat, pork, and dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese.
Vitamin C – besides helping your immune system, this vitamin strengthens the soft tissue – including your gums. Vitamin C helps protect against early stages of gum disease. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, and also in leafy greens and potatoes.
Vitamin D – helps the body absorb calcium to build bone mineral density. Vitamin D comes from sunlight as well as from foods such as fatty fish and mushrooms.
Vitamin K – helps prevent tooth decay. Without enough Vitamin K, the body healing process won’t work properly. Where can you find Vitamin K? In all those wonderful green, leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens as well as brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Calcium — builds bone structure, ensuring that your jawbone and teeth enamel stay strong. Good sources of calcium include broccoli, dairy products, and salmon.
Phosphorus – this mineral also helps build strong teeth. Good sources of phosphorus include seafood, fish, lentils, cheese, and pumpkin seeds.
Potassium – working alongside magnesium, this mineral helps your bones maintain mineral density. One of the best sources of potassium is bananas, but you can also find it in potatoes, tomatoes, avocadoes, and prunes.
What does this mean for me?
Incorporating these vitamins and minerals into your diet is an important part of oral health. Consuming the foods that contain these vitamins and minerals will not only help strengthen your gums and teeth, but also help fortify your body and immune system while reducing inflammation. Consuming the right nutrients through food can contribute to lifelong oral health and overall well-being.
If you or a family member have questions about oral health, please contact a qualified dental health professional such as SmilingYangs Orthodontics.
Since 1998, USC and Harvard – trained Dentist and Orthodontist James T. Yang, B.D.S., D.D.S., D.M.Sc. has provided state-of-the-art orthodontic care and service to the South Florida community. SmilingYangs Orthodontics, opened in 1998, is dedicated to providing excellent orthodontic care, treating each patient with respect and professionalism. Dr. Yang and his talented team at SmilingYangs Orthodontics take pride in their office atmosphere: a friendly, comfortable environment with courteous, attentive, and punctual staff members. Learn more about SmilingYangs Orthodontics and their excellent patient reviews at www.smilingyangs.com or call (954) 623-8446 to schedule an appointment today.
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