A healthy diet can help strengthen your teeth. You should eat calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Tea (especially green tea) is also good for your teeth because it contains fluoride and promotes saliva flow, which washes away bacteria-filled plaque.
Avoid sugary drinks and foods as much as possible because they cause acids that can damage tooth enamel. Also, try chewing on some sugar-free gum.
Calcium is most commonly known as a key component of healthy bones and teeth. It helps the body develop and maintain the outer covering of teeth, called enamel, as well as helping to keep bones strong and dense. It also plays a critical role in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and the release of hormones. While the body can produce some of this mineral, getting sufficient amounts through diet and supplements is essential.
The most common sources of calcium are dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, but you can find it in many other foods as well. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and bok choy contain plenty of calcium, as do fortified foods such as cereal and orange juice.
Additionally, many nuts and seeds are rich in calcium. Add almonds, sesame, or chia seeds to your smoothies or salads. Fish, such as salmon and sardines, are high in calcium and vitamin D, which is necessary for absorption.
If the body doesn’t get enough calcium through diet, it will pull it from the bones, which can weaken them over time. This can contribute to periodontal (gum) disease, so it’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods rich in this important mineral.
Getting enough calcium during childhood is especially important when the body and teeth are still developing. If you don’t get enough calcium, your teeth may become brittle and more susceptible to tooth decay.
Phosphorus is another mineral that’s vital for your dental health. It acts as a natural calcium binder and helps the body absorb other minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Additionally, it helps strengthen the enamel of your teeth by making them harder and more resistant to acid erosion.
The best food sources of phosphorus include meat, poultry, and fish. You can also find it in some fruits and vegetables, such as apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, essential for teeth and bone health. A lack of vitamin D can lead to weakened teeth and gum disease. You can get vitamin D by eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel and fortified foods such as milk products, cereals, and orange juice. Your body can also make vitamin D when exposed to the sun. A vitamin D deficiency in adults may lead to osteomalacia, characterized by soft bones and bone abnormalities. In children, vitamin D deficiency may cause rickets, characterized by skeletal deformities, bone pain, and failure to thrive.
The mineral phosphorus is another important ingredient for strengthening teeth, and it pairs well with calcium to help build strong teeth and prevent tooth decay. Foods rich in phosphorus include nuts, beans, leafy greens, and dairy products. A diet low in phosphorus can lead to teeth that become weak and fracture easily.
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health. It works with calcium and vitamin D to strengthen enamel and help protect teeth from plaque. Foods rich in vitamin K include kale, spinach, turnip greens, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that contributes to the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, as it produces a structural protein called collagen, which makes up part of your gums and other tissues in your mouth. A lack of Vitamin C can cause bleeding gums and loose teeth, so eating foods rich in this nutrient is important. Fruits, especially citrus fruits such as oranges and tangerines, are a good source of Vitamin C, as are tomatoes, potatoes, and leafy greens. You can also find this vitamin in dietary supplements.
Vitamin A, like calcium, is important for strengthening tooth enamel. It also plays a crucial role in gum health, stimulating saliva production to wash away food particles and prevent bacteria from overgrowing inside the mouth. This nutrient is also important for vision and immune system functions. Thankfully, it’s easy to find Vitamin A in your foods. Most sources are orange-colored, so it’s pretty easy to remember that leafy greens and orange-rich foods, such as carrots and cantaloupe, provide a great source of this nutrient.
Another important nutrient for teeth strengthening is Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that contributes to healthy gums and soft tissue in the mouth. It also works as a calcium binder, so it aids in absorbing that crucial mineral. You’ll be able to increase your Vitamin C intake by eating foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and leafy greens.
Phosphorous is another essential nutrient that naturally helps strengthen enamel by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. You can easily incorporate phosphorous into your diet by choosing protein-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains, and eggs.
Vitamin K is a nutrient that works as a calcium binder, helping your body create osteocalcin, which supports bone strength and density. You can find Vitamin K in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and parsley.
Visiting your dentist regularly is vital to maintaining oral hygiene and preventing common dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease. Incorporating vitamins and minerals in your diet is as important as visiting the dentist. If you have questions about incorporating these nutrients into your daily routine, contact the Reno family dentistry team at Breckenridge Dental Group today!
Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. It is found naturally in many drinking water sources and can be obtained through dietary supplements and certain dental products. Fluoride reinforces weakened tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acidic erosion and the bacteria that lead to cavities. This is known as remineralization, which is the primary reason fluoride is so effective against tooth decay.
Today’s oral health products, including toothpaste tubes, mouth rinses, and other dietary supplements, contain fluoride. It is also added to community drinking water supplies in areas where it is not naturally present at sufficient levels for optimal oral health.
The chemical properties of fluoride make it an ideal mineral for strengthening teeth. It can be delivered topically (by contacting the surface of the teeth) and systemically (by ingesting it through the diet or dental products). Topically applied fluorides include rinses and self-applied gels using home kits and professional dental applications such as gels or varnishes, which typically contain higher mineral concentrations.
When the teeth are exposed to acids and bacteria, the enamel can lose essential minerals like calcium and phosphate, which weakens it and makes the teeth more susceptible to cavity formation. This process is known as demineralization, and it can be reversed by remineralizing the enamel with additional minerals like fluoride.
Children, who are more likely to develop cavities than adults, need additional protection against these damaging agents. Their developing teeth are especially vulnerable, and it is important to provide them with a daily supply of fluoride to help reinforce the enamel layer, preventing cavities.