Important vitamins and minerals for children’s teeth and gums

We all know that brushing and flossing are important for our children’s overall health, but the type of food and liquids we consume daily can have long term effects as well. Consuming a balanced diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help ensure your little ones will have healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime.

Here is a list of all the essential vitamins and minerals to include in your children’s diet to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy and strong.

healthy-teeth-childrenCalcium
Calcium plays a vital role in the growth of bones. Our teeth and supporting jawbones are largely made up of calcium. When not enough of the mineral is consumed, our bodies take the calcium it needs from our bones, which can weaken them. The more calcium your kids consume, the stronger their teeth will become. It also maintains the function of organs, the brain, and skeletal muscles and strengthens the teeth. The main sources of calcium include milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other foods that provide calcium include fish with soft bones, broccoli, kale, most grains, fruit juices, and soy and rice beverages.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and strengthens the teeth and bone mineral density. Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but the vitamin can also be found in fatty fish, canned tuna and portobello mushrooms. You can also look for foods and drinks that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, orange juice and some cereals.

Phosphorus
Phosphorus works with calcium to protect and rebuilds tooth enamel. Your body contains large amounts of this vitamin with most of it found in your teeth. Therefore, replenishing phosphorous is important for the maintenance and repair of the body tissues and teeth. Phosphorous is present in many protein-rich foods, like meats, eggs, nuts, legumes and dairy.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A benefits both your eyes and mouth. The vitamin forms and maintains tissues, such as mucous membranes and teeth. Another function of vitamin A is to promote salvia production to eliminate destructive bacteria and food particles that get stuck between the teeth. Vitamin A is found in dairy, chicken, meat, sweet potatoes, orange fruits, kale, fish, spinach, collard greens, and egg yolks.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C works to help heal gums, form blood vessels and boost the function of other vital tissues that support the teeth. Encourage your children to eat citrus fruits, spinach, berries, kiwifruits, potatoes, capsicums, and brussels sprouts.

Iron
Iron maintains healthy levels of red blood cells. This allows the body’s immune system to function normally and defend against infection and disease. Low iron in your body weakens your immune system and increases your chance of developing oral infections and gum disease. Keep your child’s immune system up and running to its full potential by giving them seafood, eggs, red meat, cereals, bread, and green leafy vegetables.

vitamins-minerals-healthy-teethWhile a healthy diet can provide your child with enough vitamins and minerals they need, some children may be super picky eaters and might need to take vitamin supplements to reach the recommended daily intake. If your child has low levels of one or more than one vitamin and mineral, talk to their pediatrician and ask them about giving them a multi-vitamin supplement.

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