Dental Health Topics

Vitamin C Keeps Scurvy and Gingivitis at Bay!

Vitamin C Keeps Scurvy And Gingivitis At Bay!

Ahoy, Matey! May is here! The sun is out, the snow is gone, and it’s time to get outside and explore the open water. Be it a lake or pond, river or ocean, you owe it to yourself to sink your senses into this wonderful gift of nature. In the warmer parts of the country, the boat docks are opening en masse’, so don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a fishing pole, and a big basket of fruit rich in Vitamin C as you prepare to set sail. Fruit? Why Fruit? Trust us, you’re gonna’ want to have some on hand…

Why Vitamin C Is Good for Your Mouth

Because fruit is good for you, of course! And, there’s nothing worse than a bout with scurvy when your three-hour tour lands you on an uncharted desert isle, à la Gilligan and rest of the castaways.
Since the dawn of maritime adventures, scurvy has been the scourge of the sailors the world over. Ever wondered why pirates are missing a lot of teeth? That’s scurvy.

Lengthy trips on the open sea without fresh fruit and vegetables, meant connective tissue and bone were starved of nutrients, and the loss of teeth and lives in the millions was the result.
The good news is, scientists and doctors eventually figured things out, and it’s well known that scurvy is preventable simply through the consumption of food containing an adequate amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). But how much is enough? And, isn’t too much fruit bad for your teeth?

How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C varies based on a number of factors, but generally speaking anywhere from 20 to 40 milligrams per day will guarantee you a scurvy-free lifestyle. Your liver also maintains a three-month supply or so of Vitamin C as well, so you should actually be covered for your boating outing!

How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much?

As far as consuming too much fruit, what you’re really looking to avoid is too much acid. Vitamin C is good for your gums, teeth and bones.  So, if you’re a fan of fruit, mix things up a bit by going with a few non-citrus varieties, and stay away from consuming too much juice, which bathes your teeth in acid for longer periods of time than fresh fruit. Some of the best non-citrus sources of Vitamin C include strawberries and other types of berries, tomatoes, red and green peppers, cantaloupes, mangoes, potatoes, kiwis and leafy greens. 

So, don’t force us to make you walk the plank! Do good and eat your fruits and veggies – a toothless, sickly, ashen-faced pirate you do not want to be! Use this great list of food sources high in vitamin C to stay healthy, free of scurvy (!) and feeling light and limber this summer. Shiver me timbers! That sounds like a bargain.
Speaking of bargains, if you’ve got a child looking for money for college, the folks over at International Scurvy Day offer a scholarship for college-bound kids with a knack for writing, and an interest in scurvy – how’s that for cool? Have them check it out!