Great Foods to Get Plenty of Top Vitamins and Minerals for a Healthy Mouth

Vitamins and minerals for a healthy mouth

Good oral health begins with good nutrition. The foods we eat have vitamins and minerals that help our teeth be stronger and better able to do their job – chewing and breaking down our food to be absorbed in our digestive tract. Certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for a healthy mouth and gums.

Of course, you can take these dietary supplements in pill or liquid form, but the better way to incorporate them is to eat foods loaded with vitamins and minerals! Let’s talk about some of these essentials and the foods where you can find them.

ESSENTIAL VITAMINS

Vitamin D - Vitamin D is vital to ensure the absorption of calcium. Sunshine is essential to get plenty of vitamin D, as your body makes this vitamin naturally when exposed to its rays! Good food sources are:

  • Fortified milk, orange juice, or cereal
  • Fatty fish
  • Canned tuna
  • Portobello mushrooms

Vitamin C - This vitamin has prevention qualities that keep your teeth from becoming loose, protect against gingivitis (early gum disease), and boost your immune system. It is found in many citrus fruits, as most people know, but did you know some veggies, like potatoes and leafy green veggies, also have vitamin C?

  • Citrus Fruits
  • Leafy green veggies (kale and spinach)
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Potatoes

Vitamin A - Vitamin A helps keep saliva production active. Saliva supports cavity prevention and healthy gums. Those people suffering from dry mouth have a greater risk of mouth sores, bad breath, and gum disease than others.

You can find vitamin A in:

  • Leafy greens (kale and spinach)
  • Orange and yellow veggies (sweet potatoes and carrots)
  • Melons
  • Milk
  • Citrus fruits (including grapefruit and tangerines)
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon)

B Vitamins - B Vitamins are necessary for wounds to heal, especially B12. Any sores or swelling in your mouth can be helped by incorporating foods rich in B vitamins. If you are a vegetarian, you may need to take a supplement as many of the foods containing them are animal sources, such as:

  • Beef liver
  • Poultry
  • Seafood (clams, tuna, salmon)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Fortified Cereals

Vitamin K - You do not hear about this vitamin as often as others. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and helps protect the strength of your bones - including your teeth and bones around the mouth and jaw. You may see bleeding in your gums if you are deficient in vitamin K. Think green when you think of major sources of this vitamin:

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, cabbage, brussels sprouts)
  • Avocados
  • Soybeans

ESSENTIAL MINERALS

Calcium - Calcium is one of the most essential minerals you can incorporate into your diet for bone health and strong teeth. If you have a calcium deficiency, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease, and the potential for tooth loss is more prevalent. Calcium is a mineral that is easily added into your diet. Some of the primary sources are:

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Soy products (tofu, edamame)
  • Canned sardines, anchovies, or salmon (with the bones)
  • Figs
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens)
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Don’t forget to add vitamin D to assist in calcium absorption!

It is important to be aware that too much calcium from supplements can be detrimental to your health if you have heart issues or certain other conditions. It is best to discuss the dosage with your physician before adding any supplemental calcium.

Phosphorus - Another mineral that supports calcium absorption is phosphorus. These two minerals can work together to remineralize teeth over time. This can mean less sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, and sour and give you a whiter smile! You can get dietary phosphorus without a supplement by eating:

  • Eggs, especially egg yolks
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grains

Magnesium - This mineral works with calcium to build hard tooth enamel and bone density. Adding magnesium-rich foods can complement your calcium intake. Look for magnesium in:

  • Whole grains (buckwheat, rye, brown rice)
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Dark green vegetables

Potassium

Potassium, like vitamin D, helps to improve your bone and teeth density. It works with magnesium to protect your blood and keep it from becoming too acidic, preventing the extraction of calcium from your bones and teeth. Some good sources of potassium are:

  • Bananas
  • Lima beans
  • Swiss chard
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Prunes

Healthy Mouths Mean Healthy Bodies!

Nutrition is an integral part of overall health and begins in our mouths! Getting the proper amount of healthy food and supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals is crucial to being our healthiest selves. The food sources we have discussed can help us get to that goal. What goes in the mouth, or the “gateway to our bodies,” is vital to living our most happy and productive lives. Take care of your body by first taking care of your mouth and everything that goes into it!

 

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