Question: 
I know you have mentioned and written about nutrition and food supplements.  It is so confusing!  Could you give me some general ideas about what minerals and nutrients are important for overall good health as it relates to dental health
 

Answer:
  If you consider it, the foods that you eat actually become part of your body and will either positively or negatively influence your health.  Foods don’t have the nutrient value they used to have years ago because the soil that foods are now grown in have become void of the necessary nutrients that are our bodies need for long term healthy living.
            There are many minerals and nutrients that are good for the entire body.  Here are just a few basic ones:

  • Calcium-This mineral is vital for your teeth and bones.  If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet you risk developing gum disease, tooth decay and osteoporosis just to name a few.  Calcium is found in many foods and liquids such as milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, cheese, beans and oysters.
  • Iron.  Iron deficiency can cause your tongue to become inflamed with sores forming inside your mouth. Iron is found in many foods including liver and red meat.  Other iron-rich foods include bran cereals, some nuts and spices.  Iron can also be ingested by cooking in cast-iron skillets.  You can also take iron supplements.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)  A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores in the mouth.  It is found in chicken and fish.
  • Vitamin B12 and B2 (riboflavin).  Mouth sores can also  develop if enough of these vitamins are not consumed. Red meat, chicken, liver, pork, fish as well as dairy products are good sources of vitaminB12.  Vitamin B2 is found in pasta, spinach and almonds.
  • Vitamin C.  Too little vitamin C will lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth.  Sweet potatoes, raw red peppers and citrus are great sources of Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D.  It is very important to consume enough vitamin D because it helps the body absorb calcium.  A diet low in vitamin D will cause burning mouth syndrome.  Symptoms of this condition include a burning mouth sensation, a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth and a dry mouth.  Drink milk, egg yolks and fish to increase vitamin D intake.
Even though it is not a mineral or vitamin, you need to exercise on a regular basis so that your body can use the foods and nutrients to their maximum.  Proper nutrition and exercise will help you live a more fulfilling life. 

Infant Nutrition
 Good Nutritional habits start forming at around 4 months of age when the infant first switches from breast milk to other foods.  Fruit drinks are high in sugar and in turn can cause enamel erosion if consumed frequently. A baby should never be allowed to fall asleep with a bottle of fruit juice, because the sugary liquid bathes the newly erupted teeth in a cavity-causing substance that can cause baby bottle tooth decay.
This is a critical time for the child’s nutritional future.   In fact, a strong correlation has been found between the use of sweetened drinks in infancy and the consumption of sugar-containing snacks in later years. 
 As a parent or grand parent please make wise choices for your child by paying attention to the label.  Fruit juices seem great because they are “natural”, but the fact is that they are extremely high in sugar.  Dilute them to about 4:1 and your child will never know.  Avoid soda consumption and high sugar snacks in children as much as possible.  This is the best advice I can give parents to reduce their chances of not only cavities, but diabetes, obesity and other health issues that can plague them in years to come.

 Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb county Michigan.