When it comes to protecting your teeth, your body can use all the help it can get. But there’s a lot of food out there and plenty to choose from, which can lead many of our patients to wonder, “what should I be eating for better teeth?”
At our Garden Grove dental office, we encounter questions about dental treatment every day. As a dedicated family dentist, we realize one important thing: every family is different. With that in mind, we’ve gotten as basic as possible. Instead of forcing his food or that food into your diet, simply try for the following vitamins and minerals.
Calcium is one of the most important chemical elements for your teeth and is known to actively help protect your teeth and gums by preventing periodontal disease while keeping the underlying jaw bone healthy and strong.
While conventional wisdom often says, “Drink milk for calcium!” you might wonder, “where do I get my calcium if I’m lactose intolerant?” and fortunately, there are answers. If milk isn’t an option, leafy green vegetables like broccoli and spinach provide the valuable calcium your teeth and bones rely on. You can also find many calcium-fortified cereals and juices
You might have heard (maybe even in one of our recent blog posts) that citrus isn’t especially good for your teeth. To put it simply, the acid in fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits can wear away the enamel on your teeth. However! While citrus fruits can do damage if you’re not careful about rinsing and blushing, they also tend to contain a high amount of vitamin C, which helps your blood vessels, connective tissue, and gums. On top of all this, Vitamin C also helps reduce inflammation, and can also potentially slow the spread of gingivitis.
Vitamin D is nearly more important than Calcium, yet you might not even realize it. The reason for that is this: Vitamin D is critical because it allows your body to actually use the calcium in your body. Unfortunately, vitamin D is rare!
While it’s readily available in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, it’s truly available in a small amount of naturally occurring foods. While sunlight can help encourage the production of Vitamin D, the only other place you’ll really find this vital nutrient is in supplements.
Even with all the calcium in the world, without vitamin D to put it to work your teeth won’t be any better off.
When it comes to the vitamins and minerals that your teeth rely on for a long, useful life, fluoride is often regarded as one of the most powerful tools. Before the widespread use of fluoride began after the 1940’s, many communities began to notice that more fluoride in the water was linked to fewer cavities in the community. By adding fluoride to the water supply, a majority of communities in the US, Canada, Europe, and beyond have successfully helped families protect against tooth decay.
But how does it actually work?
Fluoride comes together with your teeth by mixing with saliva to help protect your tooth’s enamel from hazards like plaque, acids, and sugar. If fluoride isn’t added to your water, you can often find it in fluoride toothpastes and rinses.