Your A to Z guide to vitamins and minerals for great oral health

By Tom Czaja on March 2, 2022 in General oral health


White female adult with white young girl making green smoothies, smiling and cheering

What’s the first thing you think about when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth? Brushing your teeth twice a day? Maybe it’s flossing daily. Or seeing your dentist regularly.

Of course, those are all vital to good oral health. But have you considered how important your diet and nutrition are to a healthy smile? Here are key vitamins and minerals that can have an influence on your oral health. 

What you don’t eat also makes a big difference to your dental health. Try to avoid sugary, starchy and acidic foods and drinks that can lead to tooth decay. Watch out for food and drinks that seem healthy but are full of sugar or carbs, including pretzels, dried fruit, crackers, granola bars, fruit juices and sports drinks. 

Vitamin A

How does it keep your smile healthy?

Develops healthy tooth enamel and maintains soft tissues, including gums, cheeks and salivary glands.

Where can you get it?

Fish, liver, egg yolks, supplements and orange-colored veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes and bell peppers. 

B vitamins

How do they keep your smile healthy?

Prevent mouth sores and inflammation.

Where can you get them?

Poultry, fish, red meat, dairy, legumes, spinach and almonds. 

Vitamin C

How does it keep your smile healthy?

Keeps gums healthy and strong, preventing gum disease and bleeding gums. 

Where can you get it?

Peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, kale, supplements and citrus fruits (in moderation, as they can be highly acidic and soften tooth enamel).

Calcium

How do they keep your smile healthy?

Strengthens your teeth’s enamel, helping prevent cavities and erosion.

Where can you get it?

Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, salmon, soybeans, tofu and supplements.

Phosphorous from nuts, lentils and red meat and Vitamin D from sunshine, supplements, fatty fish, egg yolks and beef liver help your body absorb calcium. 

Vitamin E

How does it keep your smile healthy?

Provides antioxidants that help you avoid inflammation of your cheeks, gums, tongue, lips and palate.

Where can you get it?

Nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, fish, wheat germ and avocados. 

Iron

How does it keep your smile healthy?

Helps your immune system fight off oral infections and gum disease.

Where can you get this mineral?

Eggs, seafood, red meat, leafy green vegetables and foods enriched with iron. 

Zinc

How does it keep your smile healthy?

Fights bacteria growth and plaque, helping prevent cavities, gum disease and inflammation of the gums.

Where can you get this mineral?

Cashews, seeds, legumes, dark chocolate, pumpkin, red meat, oysters, mushrooms and squash. 

Talk to your physician and dentist to see if you’re getting enough of these key vitamins and minerals. They may recommend adding certain foods and supplements to your diet.