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Best Vitamins (and Minerals) for Healthy and Strong Teeth and Gums

Best Vitamins (and Minerals) for Healthy and Strong Teeth and Gums

Did you know vitamins can help you achieve a healthy and vibrant smile?

Some may be unaware, but certain vitamins and minerals are essential for oral health, helping our teeth and gums healthy. This blog post will briefly discuss what vitamins are good for oral health and some foods where you can get them.

How Does Your Diet Affect Your Oral Health?

Diet plays a significant role in oral health. The food and beverages we consume can positively and negatively impact our teeth and gums. 

For example, consuming sugary foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars we eat, producing acids that can erode the tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of the teeth. This erosion can eventually lead to cavities, which are holes in the teeth.

Foods High in Carbohydrates

Foods high in carbohydrates, particularly those that are sticky or chewy, also contribute to tooth decay because they tend to adhere to the teeth longer, giving the bacteria more time to produce harmful acids. Acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and sodas, can further wear down the tooth enamel, making the teeth more susceptible to decay.

Macronutrients

A diet rich in certain nutrients can help protect the teeth and gums. For example, calcium, which is found in dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods, is essential for maintaining strong teeth. Vitamin D, which the body produces when exposed to sunlight and is also found in certain foods like fatty fish and egg yolks, helps the body absorb calcium and is thus crucial for oral health.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can also support oral health. These foods are high in water and fiber, which can help balance the sugars they contain and help clean the teeth. They also stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids.

Plenty of Water

Finally, drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help maintain oral health. Water helps rinse away food particles and acids and, if it’s fluoridated, can help prevent tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel. Therefore, while diet alone cannot ensure good oral health, it can significantly contribute to it.

Best Vitamins for Oral Health

Here’s a list of the best vitamins for teeth and gums you can consider to incorporate in your diet:

1. Vitamin C

Known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is essential for the health of gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. It prevents gum inflammation, reduces the risk of gum disease, and speeds up healing. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to serious dental problems, including gingivitis and even tooth loss.

Food sources include:

  • Citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes
  • Peppers. Both red and green peppers
  • Strawberries. Just one cup of strawberries provides nearly 100 mg of Vitamin C.
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber and loaded with Vitamin C.
  • Potatoes. White potatoes are surprisingly high in Vitamin C.
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Guava
  • Papaya. A small papaya provides nearly 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

2. Vitamin D

This vitamin aids in the absorption of calcium. Without it, your body may be unable to absorb and utilize the calcium you consume, leading to weaker teeth and bones. According to research, vitamin D deficiency can also increase the risk of gum inflammation and periodontal disease that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Foods rich in this essential vitamin include:

  • Fatty fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms. Certain types of mushrooms, especially those exposed to ultraviolet light, are good sources of Vitamin D.
  • Fortified foods. Orange juice, dairy products, and cereals
  • Red meat and liver. Red meat and liver also contain Vitamin D, but it’s important to consume these in moderation due to their high saturated fat content.
  • Caviar/fish roe

3. Vitamin A

These types of vitamins for gums and teeth help maintain the saliva flow in your mouth, which helps wash away harmful bacteria and other substances. Vitamin A also aids in maintaining healthy mucous membranes that coat your gums and cheeks, providing an additional line of defense against bacteria.

Food sources of this fat-soluble vitamin include:

  • Animal products. Meat (especially beef), fish, dairy, and eggs
  • Sweet potato. A whole sweet potato contains approximately 1400 mcg of Vitamin A, making it one of the most potent plant-based sources of vitamin.
  • Leafy green vegetables. Spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables
  • Orange and yellow vegetables. Carrots, pumpkins, and other orange or yellow vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which the body can convert into Vitamin A.
  • Fruits. Mangoes and apricots

4. Vitamin K

Often overlooked, these vitamins for healthy teeth help produce osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is a protein that supports bone metabolism and, consequently, tooth health. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help fight gum disease.

The best sources for this vitamin include:

  • Green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce
  • Vegetables. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and cucumbers
  • Fish, liver, meat, eggs. While not as high as green leafy vegetables, these foods also provide Vitamin K.
  • Berries. Blueberries and figs contain decent amounts of Vitamin K.
  • Prunes
  • Dairy. Cheese and butter
  • Soybeans. Soybeans and soybean oil

Best Minerals for Oral Health

In addition to the best vitamins for gums and teeth, minerals play a pivotal role in maintaining oral health.

Here are some of the most important ones:

1. Calcium

As the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is critical for developing and maintaining healthy teeth. It strengthens the enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth, making them resistant to decay and damage. 

Foods rich in calcium are:

  • Dairy products. Milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables. Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, and broccoli
  • Fish. Sardines, salmon, and other types of fish with edible bones
  • Fortified foods. Many cereals, juices, soy milk, almond milk, and tofu
  • Nuts and seeds. Almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and poppy seeds
  • Beans and lentils. White beans, winged beans, and lentils
  • Edamame and tofu

2. Phosphorus

This mineral works closely with calcium to form a protective barrier on your teeth. It’s essential for tooth enamel formation and maintaining overall oral health.

They can be found in the following:

  • Poultry. Chicken and turkey
  • Pork
  • Organ meats. Liver and kidney
  • Seafood. Fish and shellfish
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Seeds. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts

3. Fluoride

Fluoride is crucial for preventing tooth decay. It makes the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. It’s often found in toothpaste, certain mouth rinses, and sometimes tap water.

Here’s a list of some foods rich in this mineral:

  • Tea. Black and green teas
  • Seafood. Fish and shellfish can contain fluoride, especially if canned with bones.
  • Grapes, raisins, and wine. Grapes and raisins can contain fluoride, likely due to pesticide use. Wine, especially white wine, can also contain fluoride.
  • Spinach
  • Processed foods and drinks. Processed foods made with fluoridated water can contain fluoride. This includes soft drinks and juices, as well as canned foods.
  • Nuts and wheat products. Nuts and wheat products

4. Magnesium

Magnesium helps in the formation of teeth and bones and the absorption of calcium. A magnesium deficiency can lead to periodontal disease. 

Some sources include:

  • Green leafy vegetables. Spinach and other greens
  • Nuts and seeds. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds
  • Legumes. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans
  • Whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oats
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Tofu
  • Fatty fish. Salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish

5. Potassium

Similar to 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.

Foods rich in potassium are:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Coconut water
  • Salmon
  • Beans. Beans, lentils, and other legumes

6. Zinc

Zinc plays a role in wound healing and immune function, which can help maintain the health of your mouth. It’s found in foods like:

  • Meat. Red meat and poultry
  • Shellfish. Oysters
  • Legumes. Chickpeas, lentils, and beans
  • Seeds. Pumpkin and hemp seeds
  • Nuts. Almonds, peanuts, and other nuts
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains. Wheat, quinoa, rice, and oats

Should You Consider Supplements?

While a balanced diet is the optimum source of these vital nutrients, certain health conditions, dietary restrictions, or limited access to nutrient-rich foods can make it more challenging to acquire these vitamins from your daily meals only. In such cases, a health care professional or a nutritionist might recommend supplements like vitamin C supplements to ensure your oral health doesn’t suffer.

Final Thoughts

To help you achieve optimal oral health, incorporate these best vitamins for oral health, along with the minerals, into your diet. However, remember that this dietary change shouldn’t replace regular oral hygiene practices. Make sure to keep a regimen of brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups for a radiant, healthy smile.

Need more professional dietary advice for your oral health? Perhaps you’re experiencing dental issues or want to check your teeth and gum health. Contact us now to book an initial consultation. At Shoreline Dental Care, we can perform a comprehensive assessment and recommend a personalized plan. Our dentists have years of experience and use state-of-the-art dental technology to provide quality services and positive outcomes.