Does your child has multiple decayed teeth? Gum problems? You could be responsible too!! Surprised?
Formation of milk teeth begins even before you are sure that you have conceived!! That is during the 6-8 week or by second month of pregnancy and of that permanent teeth by 5th month of pregnancy.
So any nutritional deficiency during this period can lead to defective tooth structure, integrity and strength of supporting structures like gums, bone, inner lining of mouth, salivary glands thus making them more prone for various problems.
The nutrients that are important for formation of healthy teeth and supporting structures are:
Calcium, Phosphorous: Both minerals are building blocks of teeth. They are present in crystalline structure of tooth called hydroxyapatite. Strong crystalline structure makes the tooth more resistant to tooth decay.
Deficiency- Can lead to compromised tooth integrity, weaker tooth structure that is more prone for decay
Food rich in Calcium and Phosphorous:Milk, Curd, Orange Juice, Almonds, Dairy Products, Beans, Potato, Tomato & Pulses.
Vit D: Is very essential for absorption of calcium into the body, the mineral which is an important component of teeth and bones. It helps in improving bone density and thus ensures strong jaw bones.
Deficiency- Can affect the availability of sufficient calcium for development and strengthening of crystalline structure of tooth, hypo mineralized tooth structure prone for tooth decay, and weaker bones.
Food rich in Vit D- Mushroom, Cheese, Ragi & Sunlight.
Potassium: Helps in improving bone mineral density
Food rich in Potassium: Banana, Baked beans, Dates, Beetroot & Nuts/ Seeds.
Vit A: A tooth’s enamel contains keratin, a type of protein, and requires vitamin A for its formation. It is also important in epithelial tissue formation and thus health of oral cavity.
Def of Vit A can lead to defective enamel and dentin the two layers of teeth.
Food rich in Vit A: Carrots, Sweet Potato, Green leafy veggies & Pumpkin
Vit C: The protein in dentin the tooth layer is collagen, which is dependent on vitamin C for normal synthesis. Vit C strengthens tissues and promotes wound healing. Vit C is also crucial in gum health and teeth stability.
Deficiency-Irregular dentin formation and affects structure of tooth pulp. Reduced Vit C in the body is associated with bleeding from gums, gingivitis, Periodontitis.
Food rich in Vit C: Citrus Fruits, Bell peppers, Broccoli & Papaya.
Proteins: Proteins are highly crucial in formation of healthy teeth and other structures of oral cavity
Deficiency can lead to delayed eruption of teeth. It can also affect salivary gland development and proper functioning
Food rich in Protiens: Peanut Butter, Black Beans, Sunflower Seeds, Cheese & Spinach.
Fluoride: Fluoride along with calcium and phosphorus forms fluorapatite crystalline structure that is more resistant to cavities.
Food rich in Fluoride; Pickles, Grape juice, Cucumber, Spinach & Tomato.
Teeth subjected to nutritional insult during critical stages of growth and development show diminished ability to withstand caries. Once teeth are fully formed, there is little change in their composition throughout life.
Clearly, proper oral tissue development depends on adequate nutrition. For expectant mothers, lactating women, infants and young children, dietary advice provided during these critical development times can have profound implications on the health and well-being of a growing child’s teeth and oral cavity.
Hence eat well, have nutritious diet during pregnancy. Let your baby have healthy bones and teeth. Enjoy their childhood.