Between rushes at the grocery store and the ongoing “hunker down” order, we might not be able to get all the diverse foods we normally enjoy, so we might end up with a less varied diet, even by Alaska standards.

This can be worrying at a time when we’re trying to take care of our oral health at home because we might miss a dental checkup. But less choice doesn’t necessarily mean less healthy, if you make sure you’re getting the right nutrients. So what are the key nutrients you want to make sure you’re getting to keep your smile healthy? Here are a few of the top ones.

A selection of calcium rich foods

Calcium

Calcium is a key element in the structure of your teeth. It’s important for your body to have enough of it to maintain mineral levels in your saliva, which helps protect and repair teeth. Of course, dairy has a lot of calcium, but it’s also common in soy, salmon, and dark green leafy vegetables.

This is also critical if you’ve recently gotten dental implants and are trying to heal the bone around them.

Vitamins D & K

Your body uses these vitamins to help it utilize the calcium in your diet. Vitamin D is the only macronutrient our body can produce on its own, but it needs sunlight to do it. And that’s even harder now than most Aprils, so try to make sure you’re getting enough of it. Salmon is high in vitamin D as well as calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamin D.

Liver is a good source of both vitamin D and vitamin K, as are dark green leafy vegetables. Looking for an easy way to supplement vitamin K? Drink green tea.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is another key nutrient in your bone and teeth. The good news is that if you’re eating salmon for the above nutrients, you’re also getting a good supply of phosphorus. Other foods to increase your phosphorus intake include nuts, especially brazil nuts, and lentils.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is critical to keeping your gums healthy. Most people turn to citrus for their vitamin C, but as we’re approaching the tail end of citrus season, don’t forget other key sources, such as peppers, broccoli, and potatoes.

What to Avoid

On the other hand, it’s important to avoid some of the foods that can really damage your teeth. Most importantly, keep your sugar consumption under control. We know this is harder being at home all day with all those snacks (including Easter candies) calling your name.

It’s also important to limit your intake of acidic food and drink. So although citrus fruits are good for your gums, they can be damaging to your teeth. Whenever possible, consume whole fruits rather than juices. Rinse your mouth after finishing an acidic drink like citrus juice, soda, or sports drinks.

Minimize Snacking

woman looking through the refrigerator late at nightHow you eat is as important as what you eat. Frequent snacking keeps feeding oral bacteria, which produce acid that damages your teeth. If you eat mostly at mealtimes and rinse your mouth with water after eating, you can reduce your risk of cavities.

Do You Have a Dental Emergency in Anchorage?

However, even if we do our best to take care of our teeth, it doesn’t always prevent problems like cavities, toothaches, and cracked teeth. These need to be taken care of right away, and we’re still here for you even now.

If you need help with a dental emergency in Anchorage, please call (907) 349-0022 today for an appointment with a dentist at Excellence in Dentistry.