Many patients treated at my Manhattan cosmetic dental practice believe in the power of vitamin and mineral supplements. They take them because they know that sticking with the healthiest diet doesn’t always happen; that our soils are depleted of minerals compared with even 50 years ago, and because they want to maximize their health and well being. If you’re interested in identifying the best vitamins for your teeth, I have some suggestions.
Teeth are Bones
Most of us don’t think about teeth that way but it’s true: teeth are bones. As such, they require certain nutrients to stay strong. Those nutrients include Calcium, and Vitamins A, B, and D.
Calcium for Strong Teeth
You already know about the positive relationship between calcium and bones, right? Without adequate calcium, you have an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, it’s easy to get enough calcium if you consume dairy, as milk, cheeses and yogurts are loaded with this important mineral. If you’re a vegan, focus on mustard greens, kale and similar dark greens, as well as nuts, beans and tofu.
Vitamin A is often called the “healing” vitamin because, without it, healing suffers. Those low in Vitamin A stores have weakened mucous membranes around their gums, and often are slow to heal from oral cuts. Vitamin A also contributes to a healthy flow of saliva. Vegans can find plenty of Vitamin A in orange and yellow foods like sweet potatoes, mangoes and carrots, as well as dark leafy greens like collard greens, kale and spinach. Carnivores can get their Vitamin A from liver, fish and egg yolks.
Do you have receding gums? If you’re deficient in Vitamin B, you have a higher risk for that problem. Vitamin B deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies that affect the teeth and mouth. Ever notice a burning sensation in the mouth, particularly on the tongue? This can also reflect a Vitamin B deficiency, as can paleness in the tissue of the inner cheeks. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to avail yourself of adequate vitamin B, as it’s plentiful in animal foods and fortified cereals and beverages.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, you can increase your Vitamin D stores by spending 15-20 minutes a day outside in the sunshine. Not a sun worshipper? Take Vitamin D3, called cholecalciferol. This is the same form of Vitamin D made by your body when exposed to sunlight. Supplements, purchased without a prescription, as usually made from the fat of lambs’ wool. Some Vitamin D supplements, such as D2 or calciferol, are made from irradiated fungus. It’s our policy that Mother Nature Knows Best, so we tend to stick with the D3 form when recommending additional Vitamin D to our lower Manhattan cosmetic dentistry patients.
If you haven’t seen us within the past six months, call our office today at 212-267-1884!
To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists