Salami, spinach and mushrooms: What to eat for good dental health

Diet is incredibly important for good oral health [Photo: Getty]

Most of us think that good dental health is all about brushing and flossing. And it is, to a point.

But one Australian dentist has revealed that “your toothpaste isn’t that important” when it comes to ensuring your teeth are in tip-top condition.

On his site, Dr Steven Lin explains why some people (who brush and floss properly) still end up with cavities whereas others (who are less adept when it comes to teeth brushing) will never experience problems.

It all comes down to diet.

“Teeth are living organs and require proper nutrition to regenerate and maintain healthy levels of enamel and dentin,” writes Dr Lin. “And without proper nutrition, your teeth will struggle to stay intact.”

While you may think that sugar is the worst offender, it’s actually a lack of vitamins and minerals that can cause your teeth to decay.

If you’re getting enough goodness in your diet, then your teeth will naturally regenerate. However, if you’re lacking in the vitamin department, the bacteria and acid that builds up in your mouth can halt the regenerative process, causing your teeth to decay faster than they can regenerate.

Dr Lin explains that there are four types of vitamins that people need to be consuming for good oral health.

Milk, eggs and fish are great sources of vitamin A [Photo: Getty]

Vitamin A

“Vitamin A is necessary for saliva production, which ensures harmful bacteria is washed away,” says Dr Lin. “When you aren’t getting enough vitamin A, your saliva glands can’t do their job and it can contribute to pits on the surface of your enamel.”

Good sources of Vitamin A include beef liver, fish, milk and eggs.

Vitamin D

Describing Vitamin D as “one of the most important vitamins for your teeth”, Dr Lin details how it’s needed to keep bones throughout your entire body strong.

Vitamin D is also essential for the mini immune system that sits within your teeth. Known as odontoblasts, it requires vitamin D to regenerate your teeth; a vital process.

While sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, ways of getting it from your diet include fatty fish, mushrooms and grass-fed dairy products.

Foods like salami are also needed to ensure your teeth stay in tip-top condition [Photo: Getty]

Vitamin K2

Like us, you may never have heard of vitamin K2 but it’s an essential nutrient for your teeth. It ensures that the calcium – which is needed to make your teeth and bones grow stronger – doesn’t end up in the wrong place.

Vitamin K2 tells the calcium where to go. If you don’t get enough in your diet, you can end up with calcium on your arteries and kidneys instead of on your teeth.

Try eating more cheese (both hard and soft varieties), eggs, butter, liver and salami.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E’s role is pretty simple. It’s an antioxidant which means it helps your body’s immune system keep your mouth healthy. How does it do this? By ensuring bacteria and viruses don’t get in the wrong places.

Spinach, broccoli and nuts are all great sources of vitamin E.

So there you have it. Eat all of this and you’ll be on the road to no scary trips to the dentist.

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