Whilst we are all about keeping a good dental routine via cleaning, flossing and tongue cleansing we cannot ignore the fact that sometimes, good oral and dental health is determined by your genes. Some people will have good teeth even if they’re just brushing their teeth wheras others can struggle to keep on top of their dental issues even when they are flossing every day and using interdentals.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t bother at all, far from it. Some of us just have to work harder at looking after our dental health than others. Isn’t that the way with everything?! argh!
To help you achieve your natural and organic dental goals we should also be looking at what vitamins and minerals that are good for keeping our teeth, gums and tongue in good health too. A little bit of natural love can go a long way.
Below you’ll find a list of the vitamins and minerals that will give your dental and oral health some attention;
Vitamin D – helps the body absorb calcium while boosting bone mineral density, so it’s crucial to get an adequate amount of vitamin D to get the most out of our calcium intake. Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when they;re exposed to sunlight (safely please), but the vitamin 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, cereal and vegan milks.
Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant in skincare, it makes sense that it fits into our dental needs as well.
Vitamin A – Will helps keep mucous membranes healthy. It prevents dry mouth and helps your mouth heal quickly. For strong gums and teeth, fish, egg yolks and liver will. But for those of us on a more plant based diet Vit A is also found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens, or in orange-colored fruits and oranges: think apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. These fruits and veggies contain high levels of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
Vitamin K – it helps block substances that break down bone. It acts a bit like a sheild. It also helps your body produce osteocalcin, a protein that supports bone strength. A vitamin K deficiency can slow down your body’s healing process and make you more likely to bleed. Leafy greens, such as kale, collards and spinach are where it’s at and will increase your Vit K intake. Other great sources include parsley, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
B Vitamins – niacin (B-3) and riboflavin (B-2). Both vitamins help to keep sores and oral inflammation at bay, which can help in preventing and treating sores, inflamed gums as well as injuries inside of the mouth. You’ll find all the b vitmains high in concentrations in foods like chicken, beef, salmon and liver. For less meaty foods you’ll be looking at whole wheat, brown rice, avocado, peanuts, mushrooms, green peas and potatoes.
Vitamin C – another skincare and dental saviour, it’ll strengthen your gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. It can protect against gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, and can prevent your teeth from loosening. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, but you can also find it in potatoes and leafy greens.
Calcium – a well known friend of our teeth this mineral helps build bones and provide structural support. In your mouth it will help harden enamel and strengthen the jawbone. Good sources of calcium are of course, milk, cheese, ygurt, broccoli, spinach (basically any leafy green) and salmon. For vegans you’be looking at fortified vegan milks, pulses, seasame seeds and tahani as well as calcium set tofu
Phospherus – Supports calcium in building strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus is found in a wide range of foods. Rich sources of the mineral include seafood, such as scallops, sardines, cod, shrimp, tuna and salmon. If you’re looking to get your phosphorus from plant-based foods, consider soybeans, lentils and pumpkin seeds. You can also find phosphorus in beef, pork and cheese.
Iron – helps keep the teeth and gums strong and health. Anemia or lack of iron can cause dental health to suffer making us more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Foods to look out for would be red meats, dark leafy greens such as spinch, peas, beans and dried fruits.
Zinc – Very similar to flouride, it helps in demineralisation and remineralszation of your teeth, further reducing cavities as well as tooth decay. It also protects your teeth against diseases like gingivitis, mild peridontal issues and other gum diseases. Foods high in zinc include meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds such as pumpkin, dairy and eggs.
Magnesium – a fantastic mineral for overall health, and it plays a critical role in building strong teeth and bones. Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium, which is critical to building strong teeth and tooth enamel. dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, bananas, fatty fish and leafy green all have fab amounts of magnesium in them.
Iodine – Often used by dentists as treatment it’s not said that Iodine is more beneficial than flouride when it comes to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. To up you iodine intake you’d be looking at consuming seaweed, dairy, tuna, eggs, cod, prunes and lima beans.
Flouride – love it or hate it it’s in this list because it provides a much needed dental function in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Flouride is a natural compound, found in all natural waters even sea water. It’s also the 13th most abundant element on the earths crust. Foods rich in flouride are leafy greens such as spinach (there’s a trend for leafy greens right?) grapes, black tea and potatoes.
Potassium – Like vitamin D, potassium improves bone mineral density. It also works with magnesium to reduce acidity. Too much acidity in your mouth will lead to tooth decay. Bananas are well known sources of potassium. Other fruits and vegetables with high levels of the mineral include lima beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados and prunes.
As you can see from all the vitamins and mineral above you’re literally spoilt for choice. You don’t need to throw potentially controversial ingredients such as fluoride at a problem. I’m really not anti fluoride, I think it’s a great material. It’s just not right for everyone even though we are told this is the only mineral that will help protect our teeth. I use fluoride toothpastes on my children, they’re children afterall and don’t floss, tongue cleanse or use interdentals. They don’t need to and imagine trying to get children to do that? what a nightmare that would be.
I’m so excited to be able to tell you soon as to what we have in our toothpaste to provide the same protection as fluoride, it’s fruity and you’re gonna love it!