Dental-Friendly Foods That Support Strong Teeth

by | Apr 19, 2024 | Blog Posts

Dental-Friendly Foods That Support Strong Teeth

A healthy diet is crucial to reducing the risk of tooth decay and supporting strong teeth. The foods you eat impact the tissues, fibers, and bones that protect your teeth and keep them in place.

Just as the joints and muscles that help you bend and walk need essential vitamins and minerals, your mouth needs dental-friendly foods to maintain strong and healthy teeth.

Good dental health requires a well-balanced diet containing foods that provide essential nutrients. Aside from a healthy smile, you’ll lower your risk of disease and support your immune system. So, which foods have the most health benefits for your teeth and oral health?

Dental-Friendly Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Dental professionals have already established that acidic and sugary foods can affect oral hygiene. But sometimes, you need to do more than avoid these harmful foods. You also must pay attention to the foods you use as replacements. Try replacing chocolate and soda with these dental-friendly foods that are good for your teeth!

Crunchy Vegetables

Vegetables are a top choice for promoting healthy, strong teeth because they require a lot of chewing. This motion removes plaque and oral bacteria from teeth surfaces.

Crunchy veggies high in water are natural tooth cleaners — they stimulate saliva production, which helps remove food particles from your teeth. Veggies are also packed full of essential minerals and vitamins.

Carrots and celery are some of the leading cavity-fighting vegetables. Celery’s fibrous texture is highly effective for cleaning teeth, while carrots contain vitamin C, carotene, and calcium. Each has many dental benefits that help strengthen teeth.

Apples and Pears

Like celery, apples are fibrous, so they help clean your teeth and promote saliva production. Chewing fruits like apples and pears also stimulates your gum tissue, minimizing the amount of cavity-causing bacteria.

Swapping out sweet treats for health snacks can satisfy your sugar craving without skipping out on vitamins and minerals. Adding fruit to your diet will ensure your teeth benefit from essential nutrients like folic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants that contribute to your long-term dental care.

Meat and Fatty Fish

Many forms of meat and fish provide essential nutrients. Salmon, for example, has vitamin D, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known for reducing inflammation that can lead to periodontal disease. The healthiest choices are skinless poultry, lean cuts of red meat, and fish.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are exceptionally good for your teeth. Some of the best you can choose to promote good oral health include:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

These nuts and seeds are high in protein, vitamin D, and folic acid. Vitamin D supports tooth strength by helping the absorption of calcium by food. Without vitamin D, your teeth and bones may become brittle and begin to break.

Nuts and seeds require much chewing, which can scrape lingering plaque from tooth surfaces. However, the husks can get stuck between your gums and cause inflammation. Brushing and flossing after snacking on any of these nutrient-rich foods can prevent you from feeling any discomfort.

Garlic

Garlic has a reputation for giving you bad breath. But did you know that it can help prevent tooth decay? It has antibacterial properties that help reduce the activity of bacteria in your mouth, stopping the development of tooth decay.

It’s a natural remedy with antiviral and antifungal properties that help promote strong teeth and gums. Garlic contains a prebiotic fiber that is good for teeth and supports proper digestion.

Water

Hydration is critical for overall health, but it also promotes healthy gums and teeth. Water washes away lingering food particles that may stick to tooth surfaces. Having some water after drinking coffee or wine can also help minimize staining and balance acids produced by oral bacteria.

Foods to Avoid to Protect Your Teeth

Even though they make the “bad list,” some foods are safe when consumed in moderation. There is some nutritional value, but too much of these foods can weaken the enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. Foods that you generally find on the list of what to avoid include:

  • Sticky, sugary foods
  • Sugary drinks[1]
  • Simple carbohydrates
  • Fried and starchy foods
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Citrus fruits

Avoid popcorn because the kernels can get stuck in your gums and cause an infection. Rounding out the list of food to avoid is dried fruits. They have lost most of their nutrients and often contain high amounts of sugar.

Maintain Good Oral Health With Regular Dental Visits

Making minor adjustments to your diet can significantly impact your oral health and help you maintain healthy teeth. Choose fresh foods over processed foods as often as possible, and drink fluoridated water.

Don’t forget to visit a dentist for routine visits to ensure your mouth is healthy. You can schedule an appointment at Empire Dental Care by calling 585-671-1650. Get in touch today!

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.mouthhealthy.org/nutrition/sugary-drinks

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Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.