We all know that brushing and flossing are essential for our children’s overall oral health and the type of food and liquids they consume daily can have long-term effects. Consuming a balanced diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help ensure your little ones will have healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime!
What vitamins and minerals promote healthy teeth and gums?
Here is a list of all the essential vitamins and minerals to include in your children’s diet to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy and strong:
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and strengthens the teeth. In addition to making our teeth and bones stronger, vitamin D also reduces the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin D also helps keeps the immune system functioning normally so our bodies can resist some types of disease.
Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but vitamin D can also be found in fatty fish, canned tuna, and portobello mushrooms. You can also look for foods and drinks that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, orange juice, and some cereals.
Why is calcium essential for dental health? Calcium is the main mineral that makes up our teeth and supporting jawbones. When we don’t consume enough Calcium, our bodies take the calcium it needs from our bones, which can weaken them. The more calcium your kids consume, the stronger their teeth will become. Calcium also maintains the function of organs, the brain, and skeletal muscles.
Sources for calcium are milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other foods that provide calcium include fish with soft bones, broccoli, kale, most grains, fruit juices, and soy and rice beverages.
Your body contains large amounts of phosphorus and most of it is found in your teeth. It works with calcium to protect and rebuild your tooth enamel. Replenishing phosphorous is important for the maintenance and repair of your body tissues and teeth.
Phosphorous is present in many protein-rich foods, like meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, and dairy.
Vitamin A benefits both your eyes and mouth. This vitamin forms and maintains tissues, like your mucous membranes and gums. Another function of vitamin A is to help keep saliva flowing, which naturally cleans teeth of damaging acids and prevents dry mouth.
Vitamin A is found in dairy, chicken, meat, sweet potatoes, orange fruits, kale, fish, spinach, collard greens, and egg yolks.
Vitamin C is essential for keeping the connective tissues of your gums strong. Without enough vitamin C, the tissues holding your teeth securely in place can weaken, teeth can become loose, gums can bleed, and the risk for gum disease increases.
Encourage your children to eat citrus fruits, spinach, berries, kiwifruit, and sweet potatoes.
Iron is important for maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells and helps your body’s immune system to function normally and defend against infection and disease. Low iron in your body weakens your immune system and increases your chance of developing oral infections and gum disease.
Keep your child’s immune system up and running to its full potential by giving them seafood, eggs, red meat, cereals, bread, and green leafy vegetables.
While a healthy diet can provide your child with enough vitamins and minerals they need, some children are super picky eaters and might benefit from taking vitamin supplements. If your child has low levels of one or more than one vitamin or mineral, talk to their pediatrician and ask them about the best recommended multi-vitamin supplement.
At Kitsap Kid’s Dentistry, our team is always ready to answer questions, address concerns and make sure that your child has a happy and healthy smile. Schedule an appointment today!