The A-Z of Family Dentistry: K is for Keratin

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In the A-Z of family dentistry, each month we ask our dentists to address a different dental concern.  This month we’re talking about keratin, and why it matters to your mouth.

Keratin is a protein that is found in numerous spots throughout the body. It’s most commonly associated with hair, but it also plays a key role in the structural make up of the outer layer of skin.

Many people don’t know that keratin is involved in the process of tooth development.

What role does keratin play in tooth development?

Keratin is present in the cells of the tooth germ. However, one of the most significant jobs keratin does in the process of teeth development is by protecting each erupting tooth. As each tooth breaks through the gum, it is protected by a layer of keratin film. This protects the tooth during these early stages.

How can you help keratin do it’s job?

There are certain nutrients and minerals that the body needs to be able to form certain proteins. To make keratin, we need to make sure that our body has plenty of vitamin A. This is particularly important during childhood as during this period we all experience two rounds of developing teeth. You can make sure there is plenty of vitamin A in your family’s diet by including foods such as:

  • carrots
  • squashes
  • sweet potatoes
  • apricots
  • spinach
  • kale

Want to find out more about how to promote good dental heath for your children?

There are many ways that parents can promote good dental health for their children. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you build a habit of regular dental visits. It’s recommended that children visit a dentist every six months.

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