All dentists agree that a healthy diet is a bonus for promoting healthy teeth and gums. A balanced diet contains a group of vitamins and minerals working together to promote good health, even though they work differently. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, root crops, pastries—remembering what you should eat is just as easy as A-B-C-D.

Vitamin A: beta-carotene
Vitamin A is often associated with clear eyes, due to the substance it contains: carotenoids. However, eating foods rich in vitamin A can also help with maintaining a healthy set of teeth, as carotenoids such as beta-carotene are also antioxidants. Antioxidants get rid of free radicals that are usually proponents of decay in the body. Yellow fruits and vegetables like mangoes and squashes are excellent sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin B: brothers in arms
Vitamin B is a family of eight nutrients: B1 for thiamine, B2 for riboflavin, B3 for niacin, B5 for pantothenic acid, B6 for pyridoxine, B7 for biotin, B9 for folic acid, and B12 for cobalamin. They work under one vitamin category to provide benefits for the teeth and gums, such as protection from inflammation and cracking of the oral cavity. Whole grains and legumes provide a reliable source of the B-complex vitamins—the “brothers in arms.”

Vitamin C: ascorbic acid
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D, ascorbic acid is water-soluble. This means the body will expel excess vitamin C in urine once it has enough in the system. Ascorbic acid has a pivotal role in oral health just as much as in the immune system. It repairs and maintains the connective tissues in the body such as the gums. A daily Vitamin C intake of 500 mg is recommended by most.

Vitamin D: sunshine
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because it requires ample sun exposure to be synthesized for body use. Studies show that at least 15 minutes of exposure twice a week can produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D. This fat-soluble vitamin helps the teeth absorb other essential nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorous. Milk, eggs, sardines, and tuna fish are excellent sources of vitamin D.

Of course, a friendly dentist like Dr. Kim C. Norman, DDS never rules out oral hygiene. It can be stated that protecting and maintaining healthy teeth and gums works two ways: a balanced diet and oral hygiene.