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We were told as kids that in order to have healthy teeth, we need to regularly brush and floss our teeth, and not to be afraid of the dentist. Yes, these are all true, but oral hygiene isn’t limited to these things alone. One of the too often overlooked aspects of oral health is the diet.
So, how to make your teeth healthy? We all should have healthy teeth and gums. That being said, make sure your diet features the key ingredients outlined below. These nutritional building blocks are essential to dental health.
If there’s one thing that is already well known for keeping teeth healthy, it’s calcium. The teeth and supporting jaw bones are mostly made up of calcium. It’s also a requirement for normal development and for keeping them healthy.
When the body doesn’t have enough of this mineral, the calcium deposits in our bones are the ones being utilized instead, affecting the integrity and strength of the bones. To ensure that this doesn’t happen and that the bone supporting our teeth remain sturdy and strong, consume foods that are high in calcium content. These can be found in dairy products, oysters, legumes, almonds, sardines broccoli, and green leafy vegetables. You can also buy some calcium supplements if you think you’re not getting enough of the mineral.
In order for calcium to be fully absorbed by the body and improve the health of our bones, it should be taken with phosphorous. Luckily, most dairy products come with both calcium and phosphorous together. However, there are still a lot of calcium supplements that lack phosphorous content.
In order to get the full health benefits of calcium supplements, you must see to it that you consume enough phosphorous in your diet. Some examples are whole grains, nuts, lentils, bean, red meat, yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Potassium is also essential because it has the ability to block certain substances that contribute to the breakdown of the bones. This mineral acts as a guard for your bones to prevent it from weakening and provide support for bone structures like the jaw. Potassium also plays an important role when it comes to blood clotting. It’s being used up in cases such as when your gums sometimes bleed when you brush or floss, or suffer an oral injury. Potassium helps to close down the wounds thus stopping the bleeding.
To get a healthy dose of potassium, eat lots of avocados, bananas, mushrooms, cheese, milk, yogurt, squash, dark leafy green vegetables, and legumes.
Iodine is a trace mineral in the body, which means you only need very little to make sure it works. Still, iodine contributes to the healthy development of teeth and bones as it makes the absorption of calcium possible.
Iodine also plays a role in the health of thyroid glands, which, without proper regulation, can lead to metabolism conditions and body swelling. Sources of iodine are from iodized salt, squash, sesame seeds, garlic, seaweed, and shellfish.
What are the Vitamins for Teeth?
Vitamin C helps in keeping the connective tissues of the gums strong, If you’re lacking vitamin C, the tissues that help keep teeth in place will weaken, making teeth lose and your gums bleed. Without enough of this vitamin, you are risking your body of developing gum disease.
If you really want to know how to make your teeth healthy, keep vitamin C always on hand. Fun fact: did you know that scurvy – yes, the pirate disease – was caused by a lack of this vitamin C? In the past, a lot of sailors ended up losing their teeth before it was discovered that the remedy is found in lemons and limes. So, here’s what you are going to do: always keep a stockpile of citrus fruits close to getting a healthy dose of vitamin C.
B vitamins, like riboflavin and niacin, can help prevent inflammation in the tongue and gums, and prevent canker sores—which is a very common disorder when one is undergoing an orthopedic treatment. You can find many of these B vitamins in legumes, almonds, spinach, dairy products, red meats, fish, and poultry.
Vitamin A isn’t just good for the eyesight, it’s also important for keeping the saliva supply flowing. This vitamin ensures that your gums and cheeks are always coated with healthy mucous membranes so that they’re less prone to diseases.
Aside from carrots, you can plenty of vitamin A from other orange fruits, sweet potatoes, peppers, collard green, spinach kale, fish, and egg yolks.
What are the Signs of Healthy Teeth?
Know what are the signs of healthy teeth by taking notes of the markers discussed below.
Mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash can make your mouth smell fresh, but you know that the minty fresh scent isn’t your mouth’s natural breath, right? Take out the mints and check if your mouth has a neutral smell. If your mouth emits a foul odor, that’s bacteria working on your gums or it could be a sign of untreated tooth decay.
No blood when flossing or brushing
The next time your brush and floss, check the mirror and the sink. If you have healthy teeth and gums, they shouldn’t bleed. If they do, have an orthodontist check it out. It’s important to try and fix the bleeding especially if it happens all too often.
Pink and firm gums
Let’s say your teeth are perfectly fine – that’s great! But have you been paying attention to your gums as well? Your gums are crucial when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. If they are, it should be pink and not red or white. You can also check by gliding your finger along your gums. If they are firm and pain is not felt, that’s a good sign of healthy gums.
Strong teeth and dental restorations
If you can wiggle any of your teeth, that’s a sign of gum disease. Have it checked by your orthodontist immediately. The same rule applies to fillings or crowns. Dental work can loosen over time and build bacteria and plaque, so pay close attention to parts that appear to be dislodged. A reliable orthodontist will check your fillings every visit, but it helps if you regularly check it at home too and tell your doctor about it.
Healthy Diet and Regular Trips to the Orthodontist
By getting the right nutrition, you are also taking good care of your teeth. Visit our office today to know more about oral health. One of our priorities is also to ensure you that your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape.
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7 Important Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Teeth
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.