Eating a healthy, balanced diet can ensure your child’s physical and mental development, and it can also improve their oral health. Specific vitamins and minerals are not only good for a child’s overall well-being, they can help keep your child’s teeth, bones and gums strong and healthy. These nutrients set the foundation for lifelong oral health and include:
Vitamin A provides many health benefits. It supports your child’s immune system and vision, and is also necessary for healthy gums. Vitamin A helps promote salivary flow, which naturally cleans teeth and allows the gums to heal properly. This gum protection is especially important for children as they gain their baby teeth, lose them, and gain their permanent teeth. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, fish, eggs, sweet potatoes and dark, leafy greens.
Calcium is a mineral that builds and maintains strong teeth and bones. For a growing child, calcium supports oral health through the development of a strong and healthy jaw bone and teeth, which can help reduce oral complications later in life. Calcium is found in all dairy products, but for children cheese is the best option because it also contains casein, which helps to build tooth enamel.
This vitamin gives calcium a boost to provide the best bone support possible. When paired together, more calcium is absorbed into the blood stream, making bones and teeth denser and stronger. This result reduces the risk of fractures and cracks. Vitamin D is found in eggs, fish and dairy products.
This mineral also helps calcium to be absorbed into the body, maximizing its benefits. Magnesium can be found in nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C is a known antioxidant that supports oral health by limiting gum inflammation and helping gums to heal. This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit and kiwi. These fruits are very acidic so it’s important for your child to rinse their mouth with water after eating them or brush their teeth.
Iron is a foundational oral health mineral because it supports the proper development of teeth before they erupt. Iron deficiencies can result in a wide range of oral and general health issues. Foods such as red meats, spinach, and beans are high in iron and help to avoid these challenges.
Fluoride is known as a natural cavity fighter. It helps your child’s teeth develop strong, healthy enamel, which protects them from the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Many communities infuse fluoride into the water, but it is also available in many dental products and supplements.
A healthy diet that provides the right vitamins and minerals is a great start to protecting your child’s teeth, but it doesn’t stop there. Brushing and flossing are also necessary, as are regular and consistent dental exams and cleanings.
At Petrone Family Dentistry, we partner with parents to assure that their child’s beautiful smile lasts a lifetime. Call us at 904-783-0917 to schedule an appointment or go online to request one today.