As a child we learn that sugar can cause cavities, but few people know about the ways in which good nutrition can create stronger and healthier teeth and gums.
Here are four essential nutrients for a healthy smile:
Coenzyme – Q10
It might be something of a mouthful to remember, but this little-known antioxidant is being touted as something of a super ‘drug’. Recent research has looked into how coenzyme –Q10 could help prevent anything from heart conditions to Alzheimer’s and ME. And because it works by reducing inflammation, it’s a useful supplement for preventing gum disease. It occurs naturally in the body and is also present in foods such as liver, oily fish and wholegrains. However, many dentists are now recommending a supplement. To order coenzyme – Q10 from the new Dr Richard range, go to: https://richardjmarques.com/collections/all/products/co-enzyme-q10
Calcium is vital for building strong teeth and bones. In fact, almost all of the calcium in our bodies is found there. If you’re deficient in calcium, your teeth are at greater risk of breaking. But less well known is the fact that osteoporosis can cause the jaw bone to weaken and make your teeth fall out. The good news is that excess calcium can be efficiently stored by the body. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt are all good sources. However, if you’re lactose intolerant, leafy vegetables and bony fish, like sardines, can also be a good source. Cheese also has additional benefits particularly if eaten at the end of a meal. By increasing the production of saliva, it removes bacteria that can cause cavities.
Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium. The body creates this essential nutrient when sunlight hits your skin, but you can also find it in oily fish and eggs. In recent years, many doctors are now recommending a daily supplement, particularly to those of us living in sun-starved Northern countries.
Folic acid – also known as vitamin B9 – helps prevent and heal gum disease by aiding cell growth and repair. Good sources of folic acid are asparagus, spinach, broccoli, peas, sunflower seeds and lentils. But unlike other nutrients, you can’t ‘stockpile’ the vitamin because it passes through the body quickly. It’s therefore important to ensure that foods containing folic acid become part of your daily diet. It works together with vitamin C, so perhaps try adding vitamin C rich fruit (like oranges or strawberries) to your lunchtime salad or breakfast bowl.