Important Vitamins and Minerals for Children’s Teeth and Gums
Did you know that children lose their baby teeth? Baby teeth are important because they hold the space for adult teeth. Even though baby teeth fall out eventually, children need regular dental visits to get their teeth cleaned and monitored. However, once your child's baby teeth start in, it's important to start bringing them to the dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings. This can help keep them strong, healthy, and cavity-free.
Oral health is closely linked to overall health, and vitamins and minerals are a great way to ensure both. Vitamins and minerals benefit the child's teeth and the mouth in different ways, so it's important to get an adequate intake. Here are some of them you should include in your child's diet:
Vitamin D, or "the sunshine vitamin," is most commonly known for its ability to help the body absorb calcium. Teeth need calcium to support healthy growth and strong teeth. Vitamin D can be made naturally by the body when the skin is exposed to the sun, but many children don't get enough sun exposure.
Since vitamin D is so important for kids, it's important to make sure they get enough vitamin D and that they get plenty of sun exposure, if possible.
Calcium helps strengthen teeth and jawbones. Not only does it help to build strong bones and teeth, but it also prevents cavities and gum disease. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 need 700 mg of calcium each day, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 need 1,300 mg of calcium each day. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are the richest sources of calcium.
Phosphorus is one of only three minerals that our body cannot produce on its own, so it is important to get enough through diet. Phosphorus plays a role in proper bone growth, so it's important for children to get enough phosphorus, especially during their rapid growth years.
Vitamins A and C
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is another vitamin that's important for oral health. Along with supporting healthy gums and teeth, vitamin C also strengthens tooth enamel. It also helps children recover from cavities. Vitamin C can also be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Vitamin A is important for children's developing teeth and gums. It also supports bone growth in the mouth. Vitamin A can be found in milk, eggs, and beef.
Although fluoride is very important for protecting tooth enamel, xylitol helps prevent tooth decay. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that can be used in baking and cooking. It has a naturally sweet flavor that tastes similar to sugar. Xylitol is found in many fruits and vegetables but can also be purchased as a compound in candy, gum, and other oral health products.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in the soil, water, and foods. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and protects against tooth decay.
To learn more about Little Bytes Pediatric Dentistry, Palo Alto, or to schedule an appointment to meet our dentists and team, call us at (650) 322-9837.