Fortify!

Gardening season is here.  If you love to garden, you will soon be out and about, with shovel, shears and pretty plants. What does that have in common with dentistry? Not very much, except that a good gardener will also apply just the right amount of fertilizer to their plants, in order for them to grow and remain healthy and strong. What then, do we do for our bodies and teeth? We boost nutrition and vitamins.

If you are like most people, health awareness comes and goes in spurts, like gardening also: usually brought on by the change of seasons, or some current health issue. If you feel that it’s been a while that you made sure you and your family get all the right “good stuff”, start by checking the kitchen or medicine cabinet. What vitamin supplements do you find there? How full are the bottles, and what does the expiration date read? Toss out anything outdated, and survey the rest. Next, you might want to amend your regular shopping list. Does it contain enough fresh fruits and vegetables? Enough milk products? Sometimes it is just variety that will make all the difference.

For your teeth as well as bones, especially calcium is important. The NIH states that calcium

is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness.

The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.

[source: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-QuickFacts]

Especially teenagers and older women need to make sure to have a sufficient calcium intake, as well as pregnant women, and persons with lactose intolerance, since milk products in general are a great source of calcium.

Another mineral, which is often overlooked, is zinc. Zinc is responsible to aid the immune system, and to help wound healing. Not enough zinc can result in hair loss, skin ulcers, slow wound healing and diarrhea. While it is uncommon for people in the US to develop an abnormal zinc deficiency, at a greater risk are people groups that consume large quantities of alcohol, those with gastrointestinal problems – both of which reduce the body’s capacity to absorb zinc; or vegans, who without meat as a good source simply may not get enough in their diet. Rest assured, even if you don’t like oysters (the best natural source of zinc), red meats or fortified cereal are a good alternative, otherwise, there are numerous commercial supplements available.

 

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Dr. Mead is an educator in the dental field, as well as an experienced family dentist with his practice located in Purcell, Oklahoma.
To schedule an appointment or to ask questions, please call:
405.527.6568

 

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