Just as dental implants can help you eat a nutritious diet, you also need to consider the health of your teeth, including replacement teeth like dental implants, when designing your diet. It’s part of the Top Down Dental approach to encourage healthy habits that are good for your mouth and body. Here are some of the nutrients you need to make sure you’re getting in order to protect your oral health.
We all know that we need calcium for our teeth and bones. The good news is that it’s readily available. Even if you don’t like dairy products, which are a great source of calcium, there are many other ways to get it. You can look for calcium-enriched foods or eat a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, and collard greens.
Without vitamin D, your body can’t properly use calcium. Fortunately, vitamin D is easy to get: just catch some sun. Your body will naturally generate all the vitamin D you need. But if you don’t get out in the sun, especially in the winter, most dairy foods are fortified with vitamin D, and it is also found in cruciferous vegetables.
Vitamin C is vital for gum health, and your gums are vital to support your teeth. It helps your body make the connective tissue that makes up most of your gums, and a vitamin C deficiency will cause receding gums as part of scurvy. Vitamin C is found in most fruits, including citrus, strawberry, kiwi, and tomatoes. It’s also common in cruciferous vegetables.
Folate (vitamin B9) is another vitamin that helps support healthy gums. Folate deficiency can increase your risk of gum disease. It’s found in beans, lentils, nuts, and green vegetables.
Phosphorous is a vital mineral that helps bind calcium into bone and tooth structures. In addition to dairy foods, it’s found in poultry, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
What to Avoid
Once you’ve added some healthy foods to your diet, it’s time to cut out some of the more damaging foods in your diet. Of course, one of the biggest problems is the consumption of added sugars. Sugars feed oral bacteria that produce acids that dissolve your teeth and damage your gums. Consuming acidic foods and beverages can have a similar effect. One of the worst culprits for both are sodas, which are both highly acidic and contain lots of added sugars.