Food FAQs: What is Good for Your Teeth?

Jan 14, 2023 | About Orthodontics

woman with flower crown looking at plants

Nutrient-rich foods, vitamin C, and a balanced diet (eating from all five major food groups!) promote good physical and mental health! We all know that healthy foods help us achieve a healthy body – but what about a healthy mouth?

Did you know that a big part of good oral health starts with eating foods that are good for fighting tooth decay? It’s true! Strong teeth and gums come from putting the right food on your plate – and that’s what we’re talking about in this blog.

Let’s break down the best foods for good dental health benefits!

How Does Food Affect Your Oral Health & Tooth Decay?

When you have a snack, you aren’t just feeding your entire body – you’re also feeding the plaque-causing bacteria that live in your mouth.

Sugary treats are something that oral bacteria love, and they’re the worst foods to prevent cavities and gum disease. That’s because starchy or sugary foods cause bacteria to make harmful acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. The same goes for acidic foods.

Eating the right stuff can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, bleeding gums, and more!

What to Eat for Healthy Teeth

It’s time to check out the best foods for great oral health benefits. We want to focus on low-acidic, low-sugar, and high-nutritional value foods that will help keep teeth clean and make gums healthy.

(Chewing sugar-free gum isn’t a food, but sugarless gum increases saliva and cleans teeth – consider buying a pack for after your meals!)

Enjoy Some Dairy Products

While it may sound weird (after all, cheese isn’t always on the list of healthy food items), dairy products are great for several reasons.

In particular, cheese has tons of characteristics that benefit oral health. high in calcium and casein, which are great for fortifying bone density and enamel. Cheese is a great snack that increases saliva production (which washes away bacteria). It’s also good for balancing the pH levels of the mouth.

And finally, milk and cheese both lower the acidity of your mouth!

types of cheeses on a platter

Fruits & Veggies Keep Teeth Healthy

Fibrous foods and fresh fruits and vegetables are great for your overall health. But raw vegetables and fruits can provide benefits that keep teeth strong, bring you better gum health, and promote fresh breath!

  • Crunchy Vegetables: Celery, carrots, and other crunchy veggies clean the tooth surface while you eat, like a natural toothbrush. They also tend to have lots of water, meaning more saliva (and fewer food particles and plaque!).

  • Green Leafy Vegetables: Leafy greens contain folic acid and calcium, which keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling great. Spinach and kale are some of the best leafy greens on the block!

  • Fruit: Eating apples and other crunchy fruits will help prevent periodontal disease, clean teeth, and increase your saliva. In addition, citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which neutralizes bacteria. Make sure you stick to fresh snacks with natural sugars – no juice!

Stay Hydrated with H2O

Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your body and mouth!

Water washes away malic acid, particles, bacteria, sugars, and more. With fluoridated water, you can an even better boost! Plus, it’s one of the best ways to increase saliva – of course! (Green and black teas are another great drink that will keep you hydrated, help with bacteria, and prevent dry mouth.)

Foods to Avoid When It’s Mealtime

Some other foods have the opposite effect. You’ve probably guessed some of them – like candy and sticky, sugary snacks.

In addition, you should keep away from:

  • Soft drinks contain tons of sugar. And they’re really bad for your health. Why not choose a tasty, low-sugar alternative?

  • Starchy foods, like potato chips and bread. Complex carbohydrates are great, but not if they easily get stuck between your teeth!

  • Sticky foods, like sugary gum and dried fruit, will stay on your teeth and eat at your enamel. That’s a no-go!

types of cheeses on a platter