We‘ve all heard that a nutritious diet is good for a growing child’s body, but that includes their teeth as well! Eating a healthy and varied diet helps children absorb the essential nutrients and vitamins for strong teeth and gives them a lifelong foundation for good oral health. Let’s look at what vitamins are good for teeth and how your children can get more of them in their daily lives.

Nutrition for Your Child’s Oral Health

In the same way that certain nutrients are essential for healthy bones, eyes, skin, etc., there are a number of vitamins and minerals for teeth and, even more, important for young children, their proper development. Childhood nutrition is especially important because it has long been known to scientists that children who do not intake adequate nutrients can suffer from lifelong effects. Basically, it’s essential that children get enough vitamins for teeth and gums in order to avoid potential problems like thin enamel, increased risk of infection, and poor gum health.

What Vitamins and Minerals Promote Healthy Teeth and Gums?

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the key vitamins for healthy teeth. It contributes to fully developed teeth and protects against tooth decay and gum disease, but it also works in tandem with another crucial vitamin. Vitamin D works to help calcium from your child’s food move from their gut and deposit it in their bones. In this way, vitamin D helps build bone density, making for strong and durable teeth.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A contributes to saliva production, which helps bring down the higher acidity in your mouth to a more neutral or alkaline pH after you’ve eaten, prevents crucial tissues in your mouth from drying out, and helps wash away leftover food and drinks from the surface of your teeth—preventing excess plaque and decay. A lack of Vitamin A can lead to dry mouth and bad breath in children, among other problems.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for gums and teeth, as it helps build strong connective tissue in your kids’ gums. This connective tissue keeps their teeth firmly in place for a strong bite and helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. In fact, the disease commonly known as “scurvy” is caused by a vitamin C deficiency, and one of the main symptoms is loss of teeth from weakened connective tissue.

Phosphorus

Similar to vitamin D, phosphorus aids in the absorption of your child’s calcium intake so that their teeth are as strong as possible. This mineral helps your child rebuild and strengthen their tooth enamel against plaque and cavities.

Calcium

Of all the vitamins for strong teeth, Calcium is perhaps the most important. Calcium is the building block of many hard structures within the body, most notably the bones, but is also integral to the enamel and other elements of strong teeth. Calcium deficiency is a dangerous, yet easily preventable, condition in children and can lead to a host of problems later in life.

Fluoride

While often misunderstood, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is incredibly important in fighting cavities in children and adults. Fluoride is an essential building block of the enamel that your teeth both hard and impervious to bacteria, and it is also one of the only known minerals that can actually repair small cavities by strengthening the enamel and preventing it from decaying any further and leading to problems that may eventually require children’s teeth extractions.

Good Sources of Vitamins and Minerals for Children’s Teeth

When it comes to making sure your child gets all of the best vitamins for gums and teeth, the key is to provide a variety of healthy, minimally-processed foods. Calcium and vitamin D are abundant in dairy products like milk and cheese, but if your little one has dietary restrictions, you can turn to foods like broccoli, leafy greens like kale, bok choy and collard greens, soybeans, figs and oranges for calcium. Vitamin D can be found in eggs, fish, red meat, cereals, and bread, but it is also produced naturally in the skin after about 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight—so playtime outside is a must!

Most people know that Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, but overly sugary fruit juices should be avoided for the damage they can cause to growing teeth. Vitamin C can also be found in potatoes, leafy greens, berries, and peppers! In general, eating a variety of different colored vegetables and plenty of good proteins and grains while avoiding candy and junk food will give your child all of the vitamins they need for strong and healthy teeth!

Finally, fluoride is so crucial to oral health that it has been added to most municipal water supplies, so drinking water is an important aspect of staying healthy. You can also buy dental products like toothpaste and child-safe mouthwash with fluoride as well. Be sure to ask questions about recommended dental products and brands at your children’s dentistry clinic.

Contact the Children’s Dental Experts in Reno

Getting the right kinds of nutrients is crucial for your child’s oral health, but so is finding a dentist you can trust! If you have questions about the best vitamins for gums and teeth, which mineral strengthens and repairs tooth enamel, tooth-friendly foods to feed your children, or anything else, contact Northern Nevada Children’s Dental and Orthodontic to speak to the experts! Call and make an appointment today.