The next time you take your vitamins to keep your body’s health in check, think about the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for your teeth! Teeth are not just hard and dead objects. They are living tissues just like the rest of your body. Like the other parts of your body require nutrients, so do your teeth. The mouth is the gateway to your overall wellness. It requires more care than brushing and flossing can do alone. Did you know a nourished tooth has the ability to fill a cavity?! But it needs oxygen, nerve supply and nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies manifest in the mouth. Redness at the corners of the mouth, shiny, glossy tongue, burning mouth, bleeding gums, can all be signs of different vitamin deficiencies. Eliminating sugar and adding nourishment with minerals and antioxidants can protect your teeth from decaying, and can keep harmful bacteria’s and infections away. You just need to pay attention to the right combination of foods. These include B vitamins: 2, 16 and 12. Remember to include poultry, bananas and almonds for a rich B combo. Vitamin A is found in carrots and also green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens. They fight against cavities, dry mouth and keep the gums healthy. Vitamin C can fight against bleeding gums and loose teeth. It will also promote a faster recovery from oral surgeries. Fill your basket with a fresh and delicious combination of strawberries, cantaloupe, mangos and kiwi. Sunshine, milk, eggs and fish have lots of Vitamin D, which help keep strong teeth and jaw bones. Calcium such as milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon and vegetables is a much needed element in preventing bone, jaw and tooth loss. It is a mineral for rebuilding enamel. Zinc heals cold sores and canker sores and is also important for proper digestion. It’s stored in seafood, pumpkin seeds and eggs. These also help with your immune system. This is just a simple sampling of the many necessary and helpful ways to increase your daily intake of vital antioxidants and minerals. By eating the whole fruit or vegetable, we also ingest fiber. Vegetable fibers, from celery or apples for example, have a cleansing action of the oral cavity, yet another reason why you should eat the entire fruit or vegetable and not just the juice. Remember to think before you chew and just keep in mind that food does affect your teeth! Feed your teeth and gums and they will function and smile back at you with healthy appreciation.