When you take your daily multivitamin, you’re probably thinking about how it benefits your immune system, bones, muscles, and organs. But did you ever stop to consider the impact that important vitamins and minerals have on your oral health?
Your teeth and gums need those essential nutrients just as much as other parts of your body do. And you can get those vitamins and minerals from common foods in a well-rounded, healthy diet.
The vitamins and minerals that have the biggest impact on your teeth include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
Calcium strengthens the structure of your teeth
You may already know that calcium helps promote strong bones throughout your body. This is also the case in your mouth, since it helps harden the enamel on your teeth and strengthens your jawbone.
Where to find calcium: Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese; leafy greens; beans; almonds.
Potassium improves bone density
Just as calcium is good for bones, so is potassium, especially when it comes to bone density. It also works with magnesium to maintain proper levels of acid in the blood, since too much acid can leach calcium needed for hard enamel.
Where to find potassium: Bananas, avocados, lima beans, potatoes.
Phosphorus works with calcium to keep teeth strong
The body needs phosphorus because it helps with the maintenance and repair of your tissues. And along with calcium, phosphorus naturally protects and rebuilds tooth enamel.
Where to find phosphorus: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, seafood, soybeans.
Vitamin D helps your teeth absorb calcium
Remember how important calcium is for your oral health? Without enough vitamin D, teeth have a difficult time using calcium and will actually lose calcium over time. It literally carries and deposits calcium into the bones that support your teeth — that’s a pretty important job.
Where to find vitamin D: When it comes to foods, you can find it fortified in some breakfast cereals and milk. You can also get it naturally from the sun.
Vitamin A is good for your gums.
This essential vitamin keeps mucous membranes healthy and prevents dry mouth. And if your mouth has a wound, vitamin K helps it heal quicker. Remember: Your gum health is just as important as your teeth.
Where to find vitamin A: Sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkin, fish, spinach.
There are so many ways vitamins and minerals affect your oral health. Luckily, there are also many ways you can find these essential nutrients in common foods — that way you can ensure your teeth and gums get the fuel they need to stay healthy.