Want healthy teeth and gums? Make sure your diet features these key vitamins. These nutritional building blocks are essential for your dental health. Supplements are also widely available.
Calcium is a mineral that helps build bones and provide structural support. In your mouth, calcium helps harden your enamel and strengthen your jawbone.
What to eat: In addition to milk, good sources of calcium include cheese, yogurt, broccoli and salmon.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium while boosting bone mineral density, so it’s crucial to get an adequate amount of vitamin D to get the most out of your calcium intake.
What to eat: Your body naturally makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight, but the vitamin can also be found in fatty fish, canned tuna and portobello mushrooms, and foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, orange juice and cereal.
Like vitamin D, potassium improves bone mineral density. It also works with magnesium to prevent blood from becoming too acidic, which can leach calcium from your bones and teeth.
What to eat: Bananas are well known sources of potassium and others such as lima beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados and prunes.
Phosphorus supports calcium in building strong bones and teeth.
What to eat: seafood, such as scallops, sardines, cod, shrimp, tuna and salmon. Also soybeans, lentils and pumpkin seeds and beef, pork and cheese.
Think of this vitamin as a shield – it helps block substances that break down bone. It also helps your body produce osteocalcin, a protein that supports bone strength. A vitamin K deficiency can slow down your body’s healing process and make you more likely to bleed.
What to eat: Leafy greens, such as kale, collards and spinach, others such as parsley, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
Vitamin C strengthens your gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. It can protect against gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, and can prevent your teeth from loosening.
What to eat: Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, but also in potatoes and leafy greens.
This vitamin helps keep mucous membranes healthy. It prevents dry mouth and helps your mouth heal quickly.
What to eat: Best are fish, egg yolks and liver. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens. Orange-colored fruits such as oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes have high levels of beta carotene which your body converts into Vitamin A.