Your body is a complicated machine, and like any good machine, it requires a constant supply of fuel to operate properly. Different areas of your body require a diverse array of nutrients to accomplish various tasks, including your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day, coupled with regularly scheduled dental checkups, keeps your mouth clean, but what can you feed your mouth to keep it strong and healthy? To help you take better care of your dental health through your diet, Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz explains two important nutrients and how they serve your teeth and gums.
Calcium is perhaps best known for its importance in maintaining strong and healthy bones. Many people may believe that calcium benefits dental health because your teeth are also bone. This assumption is incorrect, but close to the truth. Your jaw, which actually is bone, needs calcium to remain strong enough to support your teeth, whose roots are embedded in your jawbone. Your teeth, however, utilize calcium in a slightly different manner. The enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth is made almost entirely of minerals, mainly calcium and phosphate. The precursor to tooth decay is acid erosion, which weakens your tooth enamel. When affected by acid erosion, enamel would be able to utilize your tooth’s mineral reserves to recover; however, acid also saps these minerals from your teeth. Drinking milk, eating cheese, or consuming other calcium-rich food and beverages will help maintain the levels of the mineral, strengthening your enamel, and decreasing your chances of getting tooth decay.
Vitamin D vs. Cavities
Calcium is not produced by your body. The mineral must be consumed through your diet or through supplements if your diet does not provide an adequate amount. To synthesize the mineral, your body requires vitamin D, which your body does produce when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Aside from facilitating calcium metabolization, vitamin D has also been shown to produce significant antimicrobial properties, which helps control the accumulation of bacteria that produce the acid responsible for enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Excellent Dental Health in Astoria
To learn more about maximizing your oral health, or to schedule a dental consultation, contact Dr. Leibowitz by calling our Queens dental office at (718) 728-8320. We proudly serve patients from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the surrounding communities.