A plate of hard boiled eggs an broccoli

5 Essential Vitamins for Teeth and Gum Health

Brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining good oral hygiene—but did you know that the nutrients you consume (or lack thereof) can also have a significant impact on your oral health? This article discusses the best vitamins for teeth and gums and what foods you can eat to add more of these nutrients to your diet. Luckily, a lot of the foods are natural and delicious!

Why Take Vitamins for Teeth?

Your mouth, teeth, and gums are the first contact points for the nutrients you consume and are essential for kicking off the digestion process. In fact, according to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the process of chewing allows you to extract the greatest possible amount of nutrients from the food you eat. Deficiencies of certain nutrients can lead to oral conditions like inflammation and tooth loss. That means that consuming the right vitamins through food and supplements can promote healthy teeth and gums. Here are five essential vitamins for teeth and gum health.

1. Calcium

Calcium isn’t just good for your bones; it’s good for your teeth, too. According to Healthlink BC, calcium is a key building block for strong bones and teeth, making it one of the most important minerals in the human body. Curious as to how you can consume enough calcium? You might already be doing it. Dairy products like milk and yogurt have a type of calcium that’s easy for your body to absorb. Canned salmon and sardines are also good calcium sources. If you do not consume meat or dairy, or want to add more calcium-rich vegetables to your diet, try broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy (Chinese cabbage). You can also try eating more nuts and seeds, like almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and tahini. Keep in mind that to prevent these foods from losing their calcium content, you'll need to steam them in a small amount of water for a short time, rather than boiling them.

2. Additionally, you can take calcium as a supplement

Phosphorus Phosphorous is another essential vitamin for healthy teeth. Phosphorus helps the body absorb and use calcium, and it strengthens teeth by helping protect and rebuild tooth enamel. If you’re looking to add more phosphorus to your diet, try to incorporate meat, milk, and whole grains. Fish, eggs, and protein-rich foods are also excellent sources.

3. Luckily, most people get enough of this vitamin in their regular diet without the need for supplements

Vitamin D plays a significant role in keeping your teeth healthy. According to a 2020 article, Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review, vitamin D deficiencies can lead to several oral health disorders, like gum inflammation, cavities, and gum disease. That’s because it plays a crucial role in bone and tooth mineralization. But don’t worry—consuming vitamin D is easy via supplements. It’s also found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.

4. Additionally, some foods are vitamin D-fortified, like milk and breakfast cereals

Vitamin C In addition to being good for your teeth, Vitamin C is an excellent vitamin for healthy gums. Vitamin C helps keep the connective tissues in your gums healthy and strong, which means that a deficiency can lead to bleeding gums and gum disease. You’re likely getting a lot of vitamin C in your diet, as it’s present in citrus fruits, peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, and kale. Vitamin C supplements are also widely available.

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is not only good for your eyes and skin; it’s also great for your mouth, particularly your saliva production. Saliva helps break down food and also cleans bacteria from in between your teeth. You can find Vitamin A in orange-coloured fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers, as well as in fish and egg yolks. It’s also available as a supplement.

When to Take Vitamins

A healthy diet can provide you with a lot of these vitamins for healthy teeth and gums. If you’re maintaining a healthy and balanced diet full of whole fruits and vegetables, you’re probably already consuming many of these teeth-friendly nutrients. That being said, taking supplements may be helpful in some cases.

If you’re concerned about your vitamin levels, chat with your dentist or doctor about what supplements or foods you could add to your diet. Be sure to ask their advice before taking any dietary supplement, as some supplements may interact or interfere with some prescription medications. Understanding how these vitamins impact your teeth can help your oral care in the long term. Now you know what vitamins are essential to your oral health, why not try a delicious new recipe with these nutrient-packed foods?