Just like our bodies, our teeth and gums need many essential vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. In fact, to ensure proper tooth development and strength, babies, children, adults and seniors need lots of:
- calcium (e.g. yogurt, milk, some cheese)
- phosphorous (e.g. egg, beef, chicken, turkey, halibut, bread)
- vitamin A (e.g. liver, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, mango, spinach, broccoli)
- vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage)
- vitamin D (e.g. trout, mackerel, salmon, tuna, egg yolk, milk)
- omega-3 fats (e.g. certain vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseeds and soy products, fish, seafood and fish oils)
Calcium (with help from phosphorous and vitamin D) is the main component of teeth and bones. It’s what keeps them strong. But we can’t forget about vitamin A because it’s necessary for the formation of tooth enamel or vitamin C which is essential for healthy gums.
Phosphorus is stored in the teeth and bones and is instrumental in helping your body balance and absorb calcium and magnesium.
There is emerging research on the role of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing and treating periodontal disease.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. In children, it works with calcium and phosphorous to help strengthen enamel, and in older adults, it helps restore and harden enamel. If you have questions about whether you have fluoride in your water, please contact your local health unit