Everyone loves their teeth; why shouldn't they? Not only are they responsible for helping in proper food digestion, but they are also equally important for maintaining facial esthetics. People do everything in their power to have teeth that are not only free from cavities and infections, but are also sparkly white, just like pearls. While most people believe that tooth brushing and flossing might be sufficient for a good dental health, what most of them are unaware of, is that there are some dietary components, which must be present in the daily diet in order to prevent the teeth from cavities and infection.
Food Components Good for Dental Health
- Calcium - We often hear grandmothers instructing their grandchildren and their mothers about the importance of adding calcium in diet, in order to have strong and healthy teeth and bones. In fact, calcium is an essential component of the teeth and bones. if the levels of calcium in the blood decreases below the critical level, calcium from the teeth and bones in leeched out, not only making them prone to fracture, but also making the teeth vulnerable to decay and infection. Calcium is present in abundant amounts in milk, eggs, chicken and meat.
- Phosphorus - Like calcium, phosphorus is also a component of the bones teeth, and therefore required for the development and maintenance of these bony structures. This important nutrient can be found in fish, milk and eggs.
- Fluoride - We commonly hear our dentist instructing us about the importance of fluoride in keeping our teeth and bones strong. Have you ever wondered why? This is due to the reinforcing effect of fluoride on the body's bony structures. You can find fluoride in milk, eggs, fish and meat.
- Iron - Apart from playing a vital role in the maintenance and upkeep of the body, iron is also essential for a good oral health. Iron deficiency can result in painful inflammation of the gums, as well as development of sores within the oral cavity. Iron is abundantly found in beans, meat, cereals, nuts, apples and spinach and some fruit.
- Vitamin A - Though mainly known for improving eye sight and immune system, Vitamin A is also essential for your teeth due to its role in keeping the mucous membranes healthy, in addition to ensuring quick healing as well as keeping the gums healthy. Vitamin A can be found in fish, egg yolk, meats and various green foods like kale, spinach and collard. It is also abundantly present in some other foods such as mangoes, sweet potatoes and carrots.
- Vitamin B Complex - Unlike other vitamins, which are present as single a single entity, B vitamins are actually a complex of various types of vitamins, having unique functions and beneficial effects on the body. Apart from playing a vital role in maintaining an optimal physical health, B vitamins improve the dental health by reducing inflammation of the tongue as well as preventing the development of painful canker sores. These vitamins are mainly found in eggs, meat, beans and legumes. Dental experts believe that pure vegetarians may be at risk of developing a deficiency of B vitamins, since vegetables contain lesser amounts of these vitamins. Hence, it is advisable for them to add these vitamins in their daily diet through supplements.
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C plays an important role in healing as well as enhancing the body's deterrence against infection. Within the oral cavity, vitamin C is important for maintaining good periodontal health, in addition to building and repairing of oral connective tissues. Deficiency of vitamin C can result in development of a serious gum disease known as scurvy, characterized by painfully inflamed and bleeding gums. Vitamin C is mainly found in green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.
- Vitamin D - Known as the sunshine vitamin due to its ability to be synthesized in the presence of sunlight, this vitamin is essential in keeping your bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus within the body. In case of deficiency of vitamin D, the body is unable to absorb sufficient amounts of calcium, which serves as the building block for bones and teeth. Apart from sunlight, which is the best and most cost effective source of vitamin D, Milk, some cereals and cod liver oil are also some good sources of this vitamin.
A Final Word
Although regular brushing and flossing can prevent tooth decay and dental infection, taking the above mentioned mineral and vitamins is equally important, not only for a good general health, but also for maintaining and impeccable oral health. Just make sure to add these foods in your diet, and you will never have to worry about your teeth again!