How Vitamins and Minerals Affect Your Teeth

Biting into an orange

It's well-known that brushing and flossing go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy and sparkling clean. However, what you may not know is that the foods you eat have a direct impact on the health of your teeth as well. Here's a look at how some key nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) affect your oral health:

Calcium

This essential mineral is best known for its role in bone health, but it's also important for healthy teeth. Calcium helps build strong tooth enamel, the hard-outer layer that protects your teeth from decay. In addition, it helps repair damaged teeth and promote new growth. Foods that are rich in calcium include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables.

Potassium

We know potassium is good for your heart, but did you know it's also good for your teeth? Potassium helps strengthen tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay. Without it, your teeth would be more susceptible to cavities.

Common sources of potassium include fruits like bananas, oranges, and grapefruit. You can also get potassium from vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach.

Phosphorus

Like calcium, phosphorus is needed to develop and maintain strong bones and teeth. This nutrient helps harden tooth enamel and prevent cavities. It also helps your body to use calcium more effectively.

You can get phosphorus from meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. You can also find it in some vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts and potatoes.

Vitamin A

Also referred to as retinol, vitamin A is essential for oral health. This vitamin helps fight infection and keep your gums healthy. It's also important for the production of saliva, which helps keep your mouth moist and prevent cavities.

Good sources of vitamin A include egg yolks, liver, and fortified milk. You can also get this nutrient from dark leafy green vegetables and orange and yellow fruits.

Vitamin B Complex

Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Niacin, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamin are some of the B complex vitamins that play an important role in oral health. These vitamins are essential in preventing irritation of the gums and mouth and promoting healthy gum tissue.

You can find B complex vitamins in various foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and fortified cereals. You can also get these nutrients from dark leafy green vegetables and legumes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is best known for boosting immunity but is also important for oral health. This vitamin helps fight gum disease and promotes healing of the gums. It's also necessary in production of collagen, a protein that helps keep your gums healthy and strong.

Common sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, as well as strawberries, bell peppers, dark leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, and potatoes.

Vitamin D

You see those gorgeous white teeth in toothpaste commercials that make you wonder, how do they do that? Well, the answer is in most part: vitamin D. This nutrient helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphorus, both of which are essential for strong, healthy teeth. Vitamin D also helps fight infection and keep your gums healthy.

To get Vitamin D, eat fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. You can also get this vitamin from fortified milk, eggs, and cheese.

Vitamin K

Last on our list of vitamins is vitamin K. But this is not to say that this vitamin is any less important than the others. Vitamin K helps promote healthy blood clotting, which is essential for healing gums after an injury.

You can find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. You can also get this nutrient from poultry, beef liver, and egg yolks.

Now that you know the vitamins and minerals important for oral health, be sure to include them in your diet. By doing so, you'll be on your way to having strong, healthy teeth!