Eating a variety of foods while you're wearing braces can be challenging. Certain foods, such as hard candy or sticky candy, can damage your braces. Others, such as popcorn or ice, can get stuck between the wires and brackets.
Vitamin A promotes healthy connective tissue, which is important for teeth and gum health. This vitamin is commonly found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupes. It can also be in dairy products like milk and cheese. The vitamin A found in these foods is different than the synthetic type, which can be toxic at high levels (much higher than the levels that are present in foods and supplements).
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorous, which are minerals your cells need in order to function properly. The mouth is the body's first line of defense against bacteria and infection, so having a healthy immune system is important when it comes to preventing gum disease and other oral infections. Getting enough vitamin D can help promote good oral health by boosting your immune system.
Sun exposure is one way to increase your levels of vitamin D naturally. You can also get it from your diet by eating fish and eggs or taking it as a supplement. If you are taking antibiotics, your doctor may prescribe a vitamin D supplement as well because these drugs can decrease the levels of your body's natural supply of vitamin D.
C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. This vitamin is also necessary for producing collagen in bones, teeth, ligaments, and tendons. As braces can place stress on your teeth and gums, vitamin C can be an excellent supplement for supporting the enamel as you wear your braces.
Your body does not produce or store vitamin C on its own, so it's important to consume it daily through food and supplementation. Some foods that are high in vitamin C include kiwifruit, tomatoes, berries, oranges, and broccoli. We also recommend taking an additional vitamin C supplement. For the best absorption of this vitamin, take it with a meal that includes some healthy fat such as avocado oil or olive oil. You will likely take these supplements during your orthodontic treatment, but you should continue to take them even after treatment is completed in order to maintain the health of your teeth.
Enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, is strengthened by vitamin K. This vitamin also encourages faster healing of wounds in the mouth and helps to prevent gingivitis. If having braces causes bleeding, vitamin K can help to decrease this symptom.
Some foods that are high in vitamin K include kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, orange juice, milk, yogurt, kiwi fruit, etc.
If you have any questions, be sure to contact our office. We're happy to help!