So much of what we eat has a direct effect on our smiles. Keeping our teeth healthy and strong is a life-long journey and should be taken quite seriously. Problems with our teeth can erupt into even bigger problems, which can affect our entire body, so keeping an eye on what we eat and maintaining our oral hygiene is important. There are certain nutrients that aid in a healthy smile, so ensuring you’re including these in what you eat is essential.
We’ve always been told milk does a body good, and it’s true in so many ways, especially with our teeth. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, which supports bone health. Calcium strengthens jaw bones and tooth enamel, and when our jaw bones are healthy, it helps our teeth stay in place. When our enamel is strong, it helps to prevent tooth decay. Foods rich in calcium include:
- Dairy products
- Leafy greens
- Brown rice
Being sure to include these calcium powerhouse foods in our diet is key to maintaining healthy, strong teeth.
Phosphorus helps to protect the enamel of the teeth and plays a vital role in helping calcium do its job as well. Children especially can benefit from a combination of calcium and phosphorus in their diet to help strengthen the jaw bones and teeth during growth. Phosphorus also rebuilds and protects the enamel. Foods rich in phosphorus include:
- Meat, poultry, fish
Calcium needs phosphorus to strengthen the teeth and bones effectively.
Vitamin D has a big job. Not only does it boost mineral density, it also helps to absorb and deposit calcium through our bones. Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus, so they can be absorbed in the body, and it also decreases inflammation of the gums, helping to prevent gum disease. This helpful vitamin can be found in the following:
- Dairy foods
Natural sunlight is a great way to get your dose of Vitamin D, but remember to use sunscreen and limit your exposure.
Our gums are big fans of Vitamin A. This special vitamin helps to protect our gums and strengthen tooth enamel as well. Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy tissue, aiding in strengthening the teeth and mucous membranes. Vitamin A can be found in the following:
- Sweet potatoes
As you can tell from the list above, Vitamin A is found in many orange foods, so it’s easy to spot items that tend to be rich in this particular vitamin.
The Importance of Healthy Teeth
In making some slight changes to your diet (if you’re not already getting these vital nutrients), you’re setting yourself up for healthy teeth and gums for life. Remember, diet, along with proper oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing every day, can keep your mouth (and body) healthy and free from problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease and even more serious issues, like heart disease. The great thing about these vitamins and minerals is they are available in everyday foods that should be a part of our regular diet, so they’re readily available and easy to find. Treat your teeth the way they’re meant to be treated and take care of your body at the same time!
At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re ready to help you achieve a spectacular smile! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started.