The correct intake of vitamins and minerals, either through diet or supplements, has a beneficial impact on our overall well-being. In fact, some of these substances play a vital role in keeping our teeth and gums healthy.
We all know calcium is good for strengthening our bones, however, it is also important for forming our teeth and jawbones and keeping them healthy throughout life. Calcium is a mineral that helps strengthen enamel, the outermost, hard layer of our teeth. This can allow for protection of the teeth against the acids in our mouth that cause decay.
Calcium is found in most dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. For vegan alternatives, you can find it in leafy green vegetables, tofu and soybeans.
In order to get the most out of your calcium intake, it is important to ensure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Its role is to help absorb calcium into the body and allow it to protect and strengthen your bones and teeth. A deficiency of this vitamin can prevent calcium from doing its job.
Your body naturally manufactures vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight. However, dietary sources of vitamin D include mushrooms and fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna. There are also certain milks and cereals that have been fortified to contain Vitamin D.
When it comes to our teeth, phosphorus is another important mineral that works together with calcium to keep them healthy and strong.
Phosphorus is found in a wide variety of foods. This includes seafood, eggs, meat and poultry. For vegan sources, look for soybeans, lentils and nuts such as almonds.
Unlike the nutrients mentioned above which help your teeth, vitamin C is important when it comes to the health of our gums and soft tissues inside our mouth. This nutrient helps with healing, building and repairing connective tissues in our body, as well as preventing inflammation.
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, as well as potatoes and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining the mucous membrane inside of your mouth, which is the protective layer coating your gums and cheeks. It also promotes the flow of saliva, which is essential for preventing decay and dry mouth.
Sources of vitamin A include meat, poultry, dairy as well as many vegetables, such as carrots and leafy greens.
When should I take vitamins?
Before beginning consumption of any vitamin supplements or drastically changing your diet, it is important to speak to your doctor first. Vitamins and minerals are good for our body, however, incorrect or over consumption can lead to negative effects. Furthermore, some vitamins and minerals can interact with prescription medications. Therefore, speak to your doctor or dentist, in order to find the right balance that will benefit your oral health.