Supplements should be a compliment to your diet… not replace it.
We believe that nothing beats a healthy diet, however we understand that it can be hard to always eat that rainbow or get good quality fresh organic produce. Whether it is a fussy eater, low on funds or not enough time – we can run into challenges trying to squeeze all the recommended daily nutrition amounts into our bodies.
So, let’s talk about the vitamins and minerals that have direct benefits to your oral health and of course we’ll also mention the actual foods that you can find them in. Remember, supplements should be a compliment to your diet… not replace it.
We recognize some people are directed by their doctors to take vitamin supplements because of a deficiency or any other reason, where a good diet is simply not enough. At all times, follow the directions of your doctor and if you don’t feel your best, please visit your family doctor first to rule out any vitamin deficiency or any other health issue you may have. This article is written to generally explain how a good diet can help achieve a better oral health but if you have any any questions or personal concerns, please talk to your family doctor first.
This important vitamin helps to produce saliva. Saliva is of course an important part of digestion and it helps to break down carbohydrates to fuel your body. It cleans away bacteria and food particles from in between your teeth and gums. Looking for the natural hack? Find this vitamin in carrots, spinach, and bell peppers.
If you are susceptible to canker sores or inflammation in your gums you could be low on B vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin. To protect yourself against mouth sores try adding these foods to your diet: brown rice, peanut butter, and pumpernickel bread.
Ok, we will be the first to admit it – we are absolutely obsessed with your gums, especially keeping them healthy. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin in keeping your gum tissues strong. Loose gums, bleeding gums, gum disease – get yourself some vitamin C (and please, book an appointment with your dental hygienist and keep up with it)!
Oranges, tomatoes, spinach and pineapple should be on your menu.
Your teeth and jaw bones are made up of this mineral and your body uses more of it for ongoing bone development. Snack on some raw almonds, eat a yogurt or make a salad with some dark leafy greens.
Well, to truly get the benefits of all those calcium-rich salads you are now eating, you will need this special mineral to help your body absorb the calcium. Luckily, most foods that have calcium also have phosphorus (like Swiss cheese and yogurt), but if it is a supplement you are adding for Calcium, many do not include phosphorus, so check the ingredients to make sure your supplement will be properly absorbed into your body by making sure it is paired up with something including phosphorus.
here’s another vitamin that works hand in hand with calcium, to get the benefits of calcium we also need vitamin D. This one is easy to get: sit outside in direct sunlight for 15 minutes a day. Do you live in Winnipeg and do not always have 15 minutes of sunlight a day? We feel you – go ahead and eat some fish. Fun fact – did you know wild mushrooms that grew from sunlight contain more vitamin D than mushrooms grown in the dark?
This is one of your gum’s besties. It works hard to keep your gums healthy. If you’re someone who likes to snack, replace those chips with some sunflower seeds, pine nuts and peanuts.
This one can help fight gum disease and infections in your mouth. Enjoy some apricots, raisins and beans to keep things looking healthy in your mouth.
We like to talk a lot about blood clots in dentistry. Eating enough potassium can help your body with blood clotting, as a bonus potassium also helps slow down the breakdown of bones, leaving your jaw nice and strong for all that chit chat you do. Grab a fork, it’s time for another dark leafy green salad, topped with cheese and avocados with a yogurt dressing.
You knew this one would be on the list! You have the option of having us apply this directly to your teeth at your dental hygiene appointment and you also will usually find it in your toothpaste. City slickers have this added to their tap water. The point is to re-mineralize tooth enamel to give you strong teeth.
There is more and more research pointing out benefits to iodine and complications that may impact your oral health when you are iodine deficient, such as dry mouth – which is increases risks for cavities and gum disease. Research is showing that not enough iodine in your diet can also lead to bite complications, tongue issues and mouth breathing which could lead to sleep apnea. Iodine is naturally occurring in the earth, so vegetables take up iodine from the soil it grows in and since it is found in the ocean, eating fish from the ocean can also help get your iodine intake up.
this mineral can help fight bad breath, that’s about all the reasons we need to list! You can find zinc in legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils. Zinc can also be found in nuts and seeds like hemp seeds (just toss them on a salad or in your smoothie). Dairy can also be a good place to find zinc that absorbs easily into your body – time to take out that cheese board.
To sum it up, do your best to eat fresh fruits and veggies along with whole grains and nuts. Toss in some quality supplements (ideally made with real food) and you’ll be good to go!
Oh and your hygienist wants us to remind you that flossing is a good idea too.