With children’s dental health, there is a large focus on the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but ensuring your kids are receiving proper vitamins and minerals for healthy teeth and gums can be just as important.
Why is Children’s Dental Health Important?
In addition to the physical health of your children’s teeth, proper vitamins and nutrients improve their immune system to help fight off infections and increase blood flow for healing and healthier oral tissue. Introducing the proper vitamins and minerals into your children’s diet can prevent the development of decay and plaque, which can often lead to more serious problems like cavities or gum disease.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Healthier Teeth & Gums
Below we’re outlining some of the key vitamins and minerals needed to promote teeth and gum health in your children.
With calcium being one of the most important nutrients for healthy bones, it is no surprise that calcium is at the top of our list. This mineral not only supports the healthy development and growth of your children’s teeth, but also the jawbones supporting them. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, grains, and fruit juices.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and helps create dense teeth and bones. Without vitamin D and calcium, your children’s teeth can become less dense and more brittle, leaving them more at risk for potential fractures. Vitamin D is also vital in the development and formation of your children’s teeth, creating dentin (the layer beneath your tooth’s enamel) and protecting the surface of their teeth, much like fluoride. You can introduce vitamin D into your children’s diets through eggs, cereals, canned tuna, and fatty fish. Sunlight is another great, natural source of vitamin D.
Known for its benefit to vision, vitamin A is also important for your children’s oral health. It promotes the healthy production of saliva, which in turn can help rid the mouth of unwanted bacteria and food particles. Vitamin A also promotes healthy tissue and mucous membranes that protect your children’s teeth, gums, and cheeks. Foods rich in vitamin A include fish, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken, dairy, oranges, and greens.
Iron is a strong supporter of healthy red blood cells which are important for a number of the body’s functions, including the development of strong, healthy teeth. With a healthy level of red blood cells, the body’s immune system is stronger and can defend against oral infections and even gum disease. Iron-rich foods include red meats, eggs, cereals, green leafy veggies, and eggs.
Zinc is a key player in the oral health of your children. It exists within healthy saliva and can fight against harmful bacteria and plaque that could lead to tooth decay and cavities. Without the presence of zinc in the body, children can be at risk of decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Increase the amount of zinc in your children’s diet by introducing pumpkin, red meats, eggs, nuts, cheese, mushrooms, and squash.
Understanding the importance of certain nutrients and minerals in your children’s diet can help to aid in the development of strong teeth and lead to better oral health in the future. Most nutrients can be obtained through introducing smart, healthy choices into your children’s diets, and for more picky eaters, through a multi-vitamin that contains the missing nutrients. Contact your pediatric dentist to learn more about the importance of nutrients to ensure your children’s teeth and gums remain healthy and strong.