Whilst your dentist will readily fix any dental issues which you may have such as filling cavities in your teeth, we’re sure, if you were to ask them, they would much rather that their patients looked after their teeth and gums in the correct way. There is lots of advice that your dentist may give you about oral hygiene, with brushing and flossing being two examples, however, they will also tell you that what you eat, and drink, has a massive influence on your dental health.
With that thought in mind, here are 4 of the essential nutrients your dentist will advise you that you need to have sufficient levels of, in the foods and drinks that you include in your diet.
Calcium is essential for our teeth and bones to grow, and more importantly for them to grow strong and healthy. It is no surprise that those who have a calcium deficiency in their diet often have rotting teeth and weak bones. A diet that has plenty of calcium is especially important for children, whose teeth are in their formative stages.
A great source of calcium is dairy products, although we must stress that, whether it is for children or adults, you should try to use as many low-fat dairy products as possible to avoid excessive weight gain. Examples include low-fat yogurt, cheeses, and milk. Some vegetables, especially those classed as leafy greens, are also rich in calcium. Examples of these include broccoli, spinach, turnip greens and kale.
Vitamin C is used by the body in many ways, but one of the most important with respect to our dental health is the production of a protein fibre called collagen. Collagen occurs throughout our body and one of its functions is to protect the integrity of many of our organs and cells, and that includes our gums, where collagen has an important role in keeping them strong.
As we age the body’s ability to produce collagen diminishes, therefore it is essential that we keep the amount of Vitamin C in our diet at a high level to support the production of collagen. Foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, peppers, strawberries, and broccoli.
Vitamin D is another nutrient that plays a huge role in keeping our teeth and bones healthy. Firstly, it helps in the regulation of the calcium levels within your body, and as calcium is crucial to the strength and health of our teeth, as well as our bones. This includes our jawbone, and if the density of our jawbone is diminished, it can cause our teeth to loosen and ultimately fall out.
Vitamin D can be found in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, red meats, egg yolks, mushrooms, and in breakfast cereals that have been fortified with Vitamin D. Perhaps the simplest source is to spend time in the sunshine as the sun’s rays boost our levels of Vitamin D.
Vitamin A has vital roles throughout our body, including in relation to some of our vital organs. As for the part it plays in our dental health, Vitamin A contributes to the production of the dentine which helps strengthen the enamel on the surface of our teeth. It also plays a role in boosting our immunity, and thus we are more able to fight off infections within our gums, for example. Foods rich in Vitamin A include sweet potato, carrots, beef liver, and cod liver oil.