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Which nutrients should you look for to keep your teeth healthy?
Updated: 5/22/2013 10:45:00 AM
 

Which nutrients should you look for to keep your teeth healthy?

When people are thinking of ways to improve their dental health, they probably make promises to brush and floss more often and go to the dentist at least twice a year. While these are all good ways for individuals to help make their teeth healthier, it's not enough. It's also important for people to watch what they eat and make sure that they are not only avoiding sugar, but also consuming important vitamins and minerals that can keep teeth strong. 

Recently, Seacoast Online, a New Hampshire news source, published an article by dietician Pam Stuppy, M.S., R.D., who explained a little more about how dental care and nutrition are related and what people can do to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need. 

What vitamins are important? 
The dietician explained that it's important to eat foods that can help benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation, which is an indicator of gum disease. Furthermore, Stuppy said that the soft tissues of the mouth are particularly susceptible to nutritional deficiencies, so eating a balanced diet is necessary for maintaining a healthy mouth. 

Stuppy suggested that people make sure to get healthy amount of vitamins A, C, E, copper, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. All of these nutrients can be obtained by regularly consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats that come from fish and olive oil. 

The dietician also pointed out that it's important to get enough vitamin D and calcium, since these nutrients are the building blocks of strong teeth and bones. Drinking fortified milk is one way to consume both of these nutrients, and they can also be found in supplements. 

Food for teeth 
Nutritionist Joy Bauer recommends that people who are trying to improve not only the health of their teeth, but their overall well-being, should consume wild salmon, which contains both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. 

Also, while people may have heard that it's important to avoid eating too many foods that are acidic and may wear away at dental enamel, some citrus fruits can actually be good for the health of your mouth. Bauer explained that the vitamin C found in these fruits can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the blood vessels and connective tissues that keep the teeth inside of the mouth. 

All of these recommendations are important for people to keep in mind next time they want a snack that will help keep their teeth healthy.

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