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While many people know that avoiding sugar is good for teeth, many do not realize that getting the right nutrients and vitamins is also essential for good oral health. Here are five nutrients that benefit both your smile and body as well as ways to incorporate them into your and your family’s diet.
Calcium is critical to the structure of teeth and bones. Calcium is also the most abundant mineral in the body and required by the body’s vascular and muscular systems to function properly. When you do not consume enough calcium, your body uses the calcium stored in your teeth and bones, weakening their structure.1 Getting enough calcium in your diet keeps teeth and bones strong. Healthy foods rich in calcium include low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli and Chinese cabbage.
Magnesium is another nutrient used in the development of strong teeth and bones. It helps the body absorb, transport and use calcium. Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, walnuts, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.2
Vitamin A aids the body in cell growth and maintenance.3 This important nutrient helps the body form and repair gum tissue and teeth.4 To increase your Vitamin A intake, eat sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach or any orange or yellow vegetables.3
Vitamin C helps the body create blood vessels and connective tissues that support gums and teeth. Vitamin C also promotes healing and can help prevent gums from bleeding.4,5 Citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, kiwi, strawberries and broccoli are all excellent sources of Vitamin C.5
Vitamin D is essential to a healthy smile. It helps the body absorb calcium. You can either get Vitamin D from food, supplements or the sun. Your skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. However, if you want to limit your sun exposure, you can get Vitamin D from fatty fish, like salmon or tuna, beef liver, mushrooms, eggs or fortified milk or cereal.6
Although good oral health habits, such as brushing and flossing daily, are necessary for a healthy smile, nutrition can also play a major role in maintaining good oral health. To make sure you and your family get enough of these vitamins and minerals, eat a fortified cereal or eggs for breakfast, pack cheese or yogurt in your or your child’s lunch or include a salad of dark leafy greens with dinner.
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* All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the DenteMax, United Concordia and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans for both group and individual members are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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