Maintaining good oral hygiene and health is incredibly important for your overall well-being. Tooth pain, sore gums, and bad breath cause discomfort and potentially embarrassing situations that you don’t want to have to endure. Good oral hygiene, however, goes beyond brushing twice a day and flossing your teeth regularly. You need to eat the right foods and nutrients in order to keep your mouth healthy. The following are five of the best vitamins that you can incorporate into your diet or supplement with in order to maintain healthy teeth and prevent diseases of your gums.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D has many important benefits for our bodies. This vitamin can help to combat depression and to prevent illnesses such as the flu and heart disease. In addition to its primary purpose of maintaining a healthy immune system, Vitamin D is crucial for bones and teeth to grow and develop normally. It allows the teeth to absorb calcium, an important mineral that builds up the enamel to keep the tooth strong and free of cavities. Calcium also helps prevent gum disease and promotes the healthy development of all of your teeth. Without sufficient levels of Vitamin D, your body will not be able to absorb enough calcium from foods and supplements in order to prevent dental diseases and decay.

While Vitamin D does occur naturally in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight, it is important to be aware that many people are actually deficient in Vitamin D. This is particularly true for those who live in climates where the sun does not shine strongly throughout the year. Healthy levels of vitamin D levels can be achieved by taking supplements and eating foods that are high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, cheese and egg yolks.

Vitamin B Complex

The vitamin B complex encompasses 8 different B vitamins, including folic acid and biotin. This combination of B vitamins works together to keep the mouth healthy and in good shape. A vitamin B complex helps to ward off gum irritation and disease, which can be uncomfortable and lead to more serious health issues. Persistent or untreated gum disease can lead to a narrowing of the arteries and cause cardiovascular issues. The vitamin B complex also helps to prevent cracked and chapped lips, as well as tongue inflammation and discomfort.

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Vitamin B can be found in a variety of healthy foods, including brown rice, poultry, and spinach. There are supplements that you can take to increase your vitamin B intake. These include the complex and individual B vitamins if you are lacking in just one of them.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in keeping your mouth healthy. Working to strengthen the soft tissues of the mouth, vitamin C helps to prevent gum disease. Gingivitis, one of the earliest stages of gum disease, can lead to loose and potentially lost teeth. Vitamin C is a key nutrient in helping to keep the gums and tissues in your mouth strong and healthy.

Vitamin C is water soluble and the body does not keep stores of it over long periods of time. Therefore, it is important to get enough vitamin C on a daily basis to keep your body healthy. There is an abundance of foods that can help you get your recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables, including oranges, berries, and carrots, are high in the vitamin, as are many dairy products. Although fruit juices have a decent amount of vitamin C in them, it is not recommended that these are your primary sources of the vitamin, as the sugars in these drinks can counteract any positive effects on your teeth.

Vitamin K

While vitamin K can impact many organs and systems in your body, one of the most important is your mouth. Vitamin K helps to keep the bones strong and prevent them from breaking down. Osteocalcin, a protein that is increased with the presence of Vitamin K, promotes the strengthening of your bones and helps to keep your teeth and jaw sturdy and healthy.

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Vitamin K can be found primarily in green vegetables, especially leafy ones. Kale, spinach, and broccoli are all good sources of Vitamin K. Since Vitamin K can also support the body in clotting blood, you may want to be careful of supplementing with this vitamin if you take blood-thinning medication to prevent or reduce blood clots.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A provides a variety of benefits to your body. It helps to keep your eyes from declining with age, reduces your risk of developing acne, and assists in maintaining healthy bones. An equally important job of vitamin A is to keep the mucous membranes working efficiently. This is crucial to your oral health because mucous membranes in your mouth produce saliva, which keeps bacteria at bay and prevents gum disease and tooth decay.

Foods with beta-carotene will be converted into vitamin A, so it is important to fill up on these healthy choices. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin A. If you aren’t able to get enough of it into your diet, you can supplement with a multi-vitamin.

Maintaining excellent oral health involves more than practicing good hygiene and making semi-annual trips to the dentist. If you aren’t taking in enough of the right vitamins and minerals, your teeth and gums will not be strong enough to avoid disease. A healthy and balanced diet will help to ensure that you are consuming the 5 best vitamins for your oral health. For more information on maintaining good oral health, visit