Getting your child to eat healthy foods may be a challenge depending on how picky of an eater you have on your hands. However, a healthy diet is crucial to your child’s overall health - including their teeth and gums. A daily routine of brushing and flossing is necessary, but your child may still face tooth decay or other oral issues without proper vitamins and minerals in their diet. If you’re having trouble knowing what your child needs for a healthy smile, Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry can help.
Vital Vitamins for Good Oral Health
Just like your child’s immune system needs Vitamin C or their bones need Vitamin D, your child’s teeth and gums benefit from vitamins as well. For strong oral health, your child should have vitamins A, C, and D in their diet.
Vitamin A is essential to saliva production. Saliva makes food easier to swallow, aids with digestion, and helps rid teeth and gums of food and bacteria. To promote more vitamin A consumption, consider adding carrots, tuna, cantaloupe, spinach, sweet potato, or butternut squash to your child’s diet.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your child’s gums. Vitamin C helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing to the gum tissue. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and peppers.
To create healthy teeth, your child requires Vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D include red meat, salmon, eggs, and milk. Vitamin D can also be absorbed through sunlight. With a healthy amount of vitamin D to help absorb calcium, your child will build and develop strong, dense teeth.
Important Minerals for Healthy Teeth
Don’t forget about crucial minerals in your child’s diet as well. In addition to fluoride, your child’s teeth need calcium, potassium, and magnesium to have strong, sound teeth.
Calcium, needed for development of the teeth and a protective barrier from bacteria, is considered one of the most important minerals for great oral health. Calcium is responsible for teeth growing and fighting off tooth decay. To help boost calcium consumption for your child, make sure you’re including foods like cheese, yogurt, spinach, kale, soybeans, and enriched breads and grains.
In addition to calcium, the human body needs potassium and magnesium to help build, strengthen, and protect the teeth. Potassium helps teeth absorb calcium and increase the density of teeth. Potassium is necessary to prevent brittle teeth. Good sources of potassium include peas, mushrooms, potatoes, bananas, oranges, and cooked broccoli and spinach.
Magnesium, like potassium, prevents the blood from becoming too acidic and reduces the calcium the teeth can absorb. Magnesium is also responsible for forming enamel on teeth. Enamel is a hard tissue that forms as a tough coating on the outside of the tooth. Spinach, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts are a great source of magnesium in your child’s diet.
Ask the Experts
If you have more questions about important vitamins and minerals that help keep your child’s teeth healthy, contact Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry