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Minerals and Your Teeth

Minerals help our bodies work properly. And, many minerals are also beneficial to teeth and bone health.  Although you get minerals from the foods you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others.

Calcium is a central player to good bone health. Foods high in calcium include: dairy products, dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale), quinoa and oranges. But aside from calcium, there are other minerals that are also important for healthy teeth and bones.

After calcium, phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body and 85 percent of it is bound up with calcium in your bones and teeth. Phosphorus is so abundant in foods that it’s unlikely that you’re not getting enough of it; so we will skip right ahead.

Like phosphorus, magnesium is largely found in the bones. Magnesium and phosphorus collaborate with calcium to mineralize bones and teeth. Magnesium might also work with potassium to prevent blood from becoming too acidic, which can leach calcium from bones. Chemical reactions in the body, including bone and mineral metabolism, rely on magnesium. Foods high in magnesium include black beans, halibut, peanuts, oysters, scallops, soymilk and whole wheat bread.

Having enough potassium also benefits your bones. The Framingham Heart Study found that adequate magnesium and potassium intake boosted bone mineral density. Both micronutrients, which come mainly from fruits and vegetables, may keep blood from becoming too acidic and causing calcium to leach from the bones. Foods high in potassium include dried apricots, avocados, bananas, beets, cantaloupe, potatoes, raisins and plain yogurt.

So next time you are at the super market, add some extra leafy greens, whole wheat bread, dairy products and fruits to your cart. Your bones and teeth will thank you!

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