Nutrition and Dental Health

Surely you know by now that brushing, flossing, and cleaning your teeth improves your dental health. But did you also know that nutrition affects your dental health, too? In fact, ensuring you consume a healthy diet each day will greatly reduce stressful trips to the dentist’s office as well as improve your overall health.

Teeth Development

Teeth require large amounts of calcium and phosphorus for healthy, strong development. Dairy products are a great source for both, and it’s highly recommended especially for pregnant women and children.

Decay Prevention

Sugary and sticky foods (such as sodas) are one of the biggest contributors to tooth decay. The acids in sodas will corrode teeth, leaving them vulnerable for attack. Sugars will stick to the teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria thrive on sugar. Sugar on teeth opens up a perfect habitat for the bacteria to prosper, multiply, and leave plaque and tartar in their wake.

Healthy Immune System Maintenance

These same cavity-inducing bacteria also cause gum disease and infections elsewhere in the body. Good nutrition builds a stronger immune system that can help cut down the numbers of bacteria affecting your teeth and body.

Vitamins and Minerals that Boost Dental Health

Taking vitamin supplements can help enhance your dental health, but there are several foods where these vitamins naturally exist, and all of these are great contributions to overall nutrition and healthy diets.

  • Fluoride is essential for fighting plaque and acidic effects of food and our saliva. Drinking tap water is an excellent source of fluoride, as well as walnuts and fish.
  • Iron deficiency can cause enough problems for the gums to cause inflammation. Great sources of iron can be found in red meat, liver, beans, and apples.
  • As mentioned earlier, calcium boosts tooth development and helps strengthen the enamel. Calcium can be found in broccoli, soy, sesame, and figs as well as dairy products.
  • Phosphorus plays two important roles: aids in proper digestion of calcium and improves the strength and durability of the enamel. Fish, eggs, dairy products, and beef all contain phosphorus.
  • Vitamin D also aids in digesting calcium and phosphorus. Our bodies can create Vitamin D on their own if they receive sufficient amounts of sunlight. Other natural sources include eggs, fish, dairy products, and mushrooms.
  • A deficiency in Vitamin B6 can dry the mouth and cause mouth wounds and cracks. Vitamin B6 is in potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and strawberries.
  • Vitamin C practically guarantees a healthy gum condition. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are most well known for containing Vitamin C, but it can also be found in onions, carrots, and sugar beets.

Remember that all of these foods should be taken in moderation. Too much of one vitamin or mineral can cause just as many problems as a deficiency.

Curious if adding different foods can help improve your dental health? Be sure to ask your dentist at your next visit.

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