In the United States, over 90 percent of adults will develop tooth decay to some degree. While statistics are showing some improvement with children’s oral health, tooth decay affects approximately 40 percent of kids between the ages of two and 19.
Preventing cavities, gum disease and tooth decay can be achieved with proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing and attending regular visits with a dentist or orthodontist.
Diet also plays a big part in oral health. We need certain vitamins and minerals in order to keep our teeth strong and healthy. Let’s talk a bit more about the vitamins and minerals that we need to have in our diets.
You can keep your teeth strong and healthy by getting enough calcium in your diet. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, your body can actually take some from your bones and teeth.
Calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Green vegetables and soy products are also high in calcium. There are also cereals that are fortified with calcium.
This is one of the most important vitamins to add to your diet if you don’t think you’re getting enough. Your body can’t properly absorb calcium if you’re not getting enough vitamin D. It also helps with your immune function and bone health. Vitamin D can naturally be acquired through 15 minutes in the sun each day, or you can opt for fortified orange juice, fatty fish and milk.
The majority of phosphorus that we consume will go straight to our teeth. This is another mineral that plays a big part in calcium absorption. It can also help repair tooth enamel. You can find phosphorus in plant-based foods like lentils, nuts, meat, eggs, seeds, soybeans and dried fruit.
Iron is used by the body to maintain a healthy level of red blood cells. When you have adequate red blood cells, your body will fight against infection and diseases. If you have a low functioning immune system, you’re at a higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Look for iron in fortified cereals, bread, green vegetables, red meat and eggs.
All the B vitamins should be part of a regular diet. This can help treat and prevent mouth sores and bad breath. You can get B vitamins naturally from spinach, leafy green, almonds and dairy products.
While it’s also good for the eyes, vitamin A can help the body clean out bacteria from the mouth. It can also promote adequate saliva, which would flush out food particles from the mouth. Add in some oranges, leafy greens, dairy, poultry, eggs and red meat to your diet.
Vitamin C has the ability to perk up the blood vessels in your body that support your oral health. It can also boost your immune system. If you’re low on vitamin C, you may notice that you are more prone to bleeding gums and inflammation in your mouth. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamin C.
You can boost your bone mineral density and teeth density by increasing potassium through bananas, prunes, avocados and lima beans.
It may seem like a lot to process, but these vitamins and minerals will come naturally to your family when you’re eating a healthy diet. You can mix and match all kinds of different foods to get the results that you want. If you aren’t confident yourself or your kids are getting enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, a supplement can help round out a nutrition profile.
Contact Creed Orthodontics for more information on Orthodontics for children, teens and adults.