In some regards, staying healthy and in good shape can seem like an elusive task to try and achieve. The rules of healthy eating seem to be changing with the seasons. Some rules, however, stay tried and true. Most of the basic health rules are directly connected with your oral health as well. More and more studies are showing chronic diseases being affected and sometimes even cured by a change in diet, and there are also studies connecting chronic disease to oral disease. It makes sense, does it not? If your food is what fuels your body, and the first contact with your food is your mouth, teeth, and gums, then what you consume would naturally have a big effect on your oral health.

Bone Health

Your teeth, in the truest sense, are mostly just bones. So anything that helps strengthen your bones also translates to strengthening your teeth. Not only is calcium really important to keep your brain and organs working properly, it most directly has an effect on your bone strength. Most commonly, calcium is found in dairy products such as milk and cheese. However, if you have an aversion or allergy to dairy, you are one of the many members of society that shrugged off the “got milk” campaigns growing up. Luckily, you can find ample amounts of dairy in other alternative options like soy. A lot of green veggies like kale and broccoli are packed with calcium, along with most beans and nuts.

Vitamin D

Consuming Vitamin D actually increases your bodies ability to process calcium, so in order to really benefit from all the calcium you are now consuming, you will also want to up your Vitamin D. Aside from getting your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun, you can also get it from foods like salmon, tuna, egg yolks, yogurt, and shrimp.

Bone Density

One of the best ways to increase bone density is by taking in more potassium. You can find potassium in bananas, lima beans, yogurt, spinach, and a lot of other common health food options.

Gum Health

Increasing your Vitamin C can help improve your gum health. Vitamin C helps manage inflammation and repairing connective tissue in your whole body. It also helps rejuvenate your body when your immune system is down. This, paired with B3, greatly helps with gum health by preventing canker sores and even bad breath.

You should approach health as a holistic endeavor. If you noticed, all of the food and food types on this list are associated with a healthy physical diet, but they have a great affect on your oral health as well. It is unlikely that you would come across a really unhealthy body with naturally healthy teeth. And it is just as unlikely that you would come across teeth and gums in really poor shape on a body that is in tip top shape. Health is not just about being fit, and it is not just about having good teeth, but true health comes along with an understanding that our entire body, oral and otherwise, is being fueled and affected by what the foods and vitamins we choose to consume. Choose wisely. While maintaining healthy teeth might be as simple as eating smart, repairing poor dental hygiene can be a painful and expensive process.