As a parent, you simply want what’s best for your child, and that includes achieving a healthy set of teeth. Of course, it’s easier said than done.
Your child’s desire for junk food, sugary drinks, and a general lack of enthusiasm towards brushing and flossing can pose challenges in accomplishing sound oral health. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease.
The Possibility of a New Ally
Despite this setback, a number of studies reveal there may be a new ally to help your children fight against the development of dental cavities— vitamin D! Increased vitamin D levels in children lead a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay!
Researchers from the University of Washington reviewed 24 clinical studies that were conducted by various worldwide health institutions between the 1920s and the 1980s.
The trials included around 3,000 children between the ages of 2 to 16, and the results indicated that due to an increased amount of vitamin D level, there was a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay!
Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine noted, “The findings from the University of Washington reaffirm the importance of vitamin D for dental health … Children who are vitamin D deficient have poor and delayed teeth eruption and are prone to dental caries.”
The Value of Vitamin D
Other studies reveal vitamin D can extend beyond the state of your child’s smile. They suggest the intake of vitamin D reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
While this is indeed encouraging news, it should be noted that this doesn’t mean that your family should be consuming unlimited levels of vitamin D! Concerns have been raised that an excessive intake of vitamin D can possibly be toxic.
Taking Preventative Action
Your body absorbs a substantial amount of vitamin D through exposure to the sun and found naturally in some foods. In some areas, it is added to products such as milk and yogurt.
Learning that vitamin D helps keep smiles healthy is indeed good news, but it cannot ward off tooth decay and cavities on its own.
Make sure you adopt a good oral health routine that includes:
- Brushing twice a day and flossing daily
- Regular dental visits for a cleaning and exam.
- Limiting sugar intake and eating a balanced diet.
Help your children stay happy, and cavity-free for years to come — contact us today to book their all-important six month cleaning and checkup with our leading Orinda dentist, Dr. Jess Santucci.
What’s your favorite way of making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D?