Eating healthy is important for every aspect of your life and your body, including your teeth. While avoiding foods such as sugar and caffeine can help improve oral health, there are also specific essential vitamins for healthy teeth and gums.
All of these vitamins can be found in food, however, for some people, it may not be possible to receive the recommended daily intake. In these cases, it is possible to achieve the recommended levels by taking supplements. It is recommended to consult your doctor and dentist before adding any supplements to your routine.
Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body with almost all of it found in the bones and teeth. Calcium is also important for the body’s blood vessels, muscles and fluids. When it comes to teeth, calcium is essential for the growth and maintenance of strong and healthy teeth. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, which not only affects the bones but also the teeth, and periodontal disease. Calcium can be found in dairy products, green, leafy vegetables and certain foods that have been fortified.
In order to maximize its capabilities, calcium requires phosphorous to be able to be fully absorbed. Phosphorous is the second most abundant mineral in the human body. It is required for the maintenance of strong and healthy bones and teeth, energy and protein production, and cell and tissue function. As phosphorus is readily available in a regular diet, a deficiency is very rare. Phosphorous can be found in meat, dairy and wholegrain foods.
Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of calcium — without vitamin D, only 10-15% of the calcium from food eaten would be absorbed. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and osteoporosis. Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, however, most people do not receive enough sun exposure in order to meet the recommended levels. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms and foods that have been fortified.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy gums and soft tissue in the mouth. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to gum disease and loosening of the teeth. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables with citrus and dark vegetables containing the highest amount.
In addition to these vitamins, practising a good oral health routine is important for healthy teeth and gums. Regular brushing, flossing and check-ups are all essential.