There are many minerals and nutrients that are good for the entire body. Here are just a few of the minerals and nutrients that your body, including your mouth, need to stay healthy.
• Calcium. Your teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium. Without enough calcium in your diet, you are at higher risk for dental disease. Calcium can be found in things such as milk, yogurt, cheese and beans.
• Iron. Iron deficiency can cause your tongue to become inflamed and sores can possibly form in your mouth. Iron is in liver, red meat, bran cereals, and some nuts and spices.
• Vitamin B3 (niacin). A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores. To boost B3 levels, eat more chicken and fish.
• Vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin). Deficiency here can also cause mouth sores. Good sources of vitamins B12 and B2 are red meat, chicken, liver, pork, fish, dairy products, pasta, spinach and almonds.
• Vitamin C. Too little vitamin C can lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth. Sweet potatoes, raw red peppers, and oranges are great sources of vitamin C.
• Vitamin D. This is a very important vitamin as it helps your body absorb calcium. A diet lacking or low in vitamin D may cause burning mouth syndrome. Symptoms include dryness, a burning mouth sensation and a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth. Dairy, fish and egg yolks are high in vitamin D.
Do I even have to remind you what the bad foods are for your mouth? Any of the things below that are left on the teeth are a feeding ground for bacteria, which produce acid and cause decay.
• Carbohydrates. Chips, bread, pasta, or crackers, can be as harmful to the teeth as candy.
• Sticky, chewy, sweet. Bad, Bad, Bad. Things like raisins, granola bars, jelly beans, caramel, honey, cookies, cake, gum, and candy all taste good……and you may eat them if you like. However, brushing well following consumption of these will greatly reduce your chances for decay.
• Carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices. Again, same rules apply as above. These drinks are typically high in sugar. Diet drinks may not contain the sugar but carbonated drinks are generally highly acidic. Long term exposure to acid promotes decay and wears away enamel tooth structure.
The bottom line is to eat right and brush well.