There’s much more to oral health than simply brushing and flossing. In fact, the food you eat plays a large role in getting a healthy mouth. Here’s some of the most important vitamins and minerals that contribute to optimum oral health.
One of the absolute best vitamins for overall oral health is vitamin A. That’s because it helps keep saliva flowing, which naturally cleans teeth of damaging acids and prevents dry mouth. Vitamin A also promotes the healthy mucous in the mouth that coats cheeks and gums, which makes them less susceptible to infection and disease. Foods that are rich in vitamin A are carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes and fish.
Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and it aids in a number of processes, including building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Calcium can be found in dairy products like milk and cheese, and we strongly suggest getting calcium from cheese. That’s because cheese has a protein called casein, which is vital for building strong tooth enamel.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that helps heal gums, and fight gum inflammation. It does this by helping the body produce more collagen, which aids in cell repair and expedites the healing process. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit and kiwi. However, all of the fruits are very acidic, so be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after enjoying them.
Without adequate vitamin D, the healthy power of calcium is severely diminished. Vitamin D acts as a communicator, and signals the intestines to absorb calcium into the bloodstream. Adequate vitamin D and calcium make bones and teeth denser and far stronger, which helps prevent fractures and cracks. You can find vitamin D in eggs, fish and dairy products like cheese and fortified milk.
Magnesium is a fantastic mineral for overall health, and it plays a critical role in building strong teeth and bones. Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium, which is critical to building strong teeth and tooth enamel. You can find magnesium in nuts, whole grains, beans, seeds and dark leafy vegetables.
Is Your Family’s Diet Mouth-Healthy?
It can be overwhelming to map out a new diet for your family, but we can help! Schedule an appointment with our office today and we can discuss some mouth-healthy options that your mouth – and family – will love.
Do you love smoothies? Here are three great tasting and tooth friendly smoothies you and your family will love. Each one uses fresh, basic ingredients is easy to make and provides approximately 4, 8oz. servings. If you try one, we would love to hear your thoughts.
The Super Bright Smile Smoothie
This smoothie will not only make you smile because it tastes great, but it will also give your entire mouth a healthy boost. The apples in this recipe contain as much fiber as a whole serving of bran cereal. Apples are also mildly acidic, so they act as an astringent by gently killing bacteria and whitening teeth.
Avocados are also great for your smile, containing an average of 18mg of calcium ensuring that your teeth stay strong. They’re also packed with vitamin B6, another essential nutrient for good oral health.
The mint leaves aren’t there just for good looks! They’re natural breath fresheners and have been shown to whiten teeth as well.
3 Mint Leaves
The Healthy Gums Smoothie
This smoothie is great for maintaining healthy gum tissues because of the high levels of Vitamin C found in the kiwi and mixed berries. Kiwis contain more vitamin C than any other fruit for their size, including the Vitamin C packed orange. But just in case, we’ve added an orange to this recipe as well! Research has shown that high levels of vitamin C is essential for healthy gums and helps to fight off periodontal disease.
The creamy consistency of this smoothie comes from the addition of Greek yogurt, which is itself a dental super food. A Japanese study of 1,000 adults revealed that the healthiest gums were found in those that consumed the most yogurt. Yogurt has also been shown to strengthen teeth and fight bad breath.
½ Cup Frozen Berries
1 Cup Strawberries
½ Cup Orange
8 oz. Greek Yogurt
The Tooth Strengthening Smoothie
Like the previous smoothie, this great tasting snack contains a huge amount of Vitamin C. But the real tooth strengthening benefits come from manganese, which is found in high quantities in pineapple. Manganese is a trace element that helps to build strong bones. One serving of this smoothie gives you a full daily supply of recommended manganese.
There is one important item to note, however. The high acid level of pineapple along with the sweetness of added honey means that you shouldn’t neglect your regular brushing routine just because the nutrients in this smoothie are good for your teeth. Of course, you’re careful to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, right?
2/3 of 1 Whole Pineapple
1 ½ Tbs. Honey
½ Cup Frozen Pineapple/ Mango