Good Foods for Oral Health

Below are just a few foods that are good for your oral health, but there are many more out there to be explored. Also, just by eating healthy, it does not give you perfectly healthy teeth. We still recommend making an appointment twice a year to see your dentist in combination with a good diet.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Why: Tooth scrub, stain removal, plaque scraped away

If you were to make one change to your diet to benefit your teeth, it would be a steady diet of raw fruits and vegetables. The crunchy types of produce are extremely good for your teeth on a manual level. Biting through the fruit or vegetable skin and chewing on the fibrous plant flesh actually scrubs your teeth. The process can provide mild but continuous stain removal. Fruits and vegetables also often feature Vitamin C and other nutrients that promote strong teeth.

Steak

Why: Jaw exercise, gum health, and phosphorus which is good for teeth and bones

Chewing steak is another great way to give your teeth a workout and benefit them with good nutrients at the same time. Steak contains phosphorous which is essential for growing strong teeth and bones. In addition, chewing a good steak can improve the strength of your jaw while the massaging action can even improve your gum health.

Dark Chocolate

Why:  Contains antioxidants, fights bacteria, prevents bacteria from sticking, and strengthens tooth enamel

Dark chocolate is surprisingly good for your teeth. Unlike sugary milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains antioxidants and can help you fight the bad mouth bacteria that cause gum and tooth decay. Dark chocolate even prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth. There is also an element to dark chocolate that helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

You can nibble on low-sugar dark chocolate or even go more natural by chewing cacao nibs.

Fatty Fish Filets

Why: Vitamin D reduces tooth decay.

Fatty fish is good for you all around. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout are all healthy fish high in Omega-3 oils that support gum health and can prevent or reduce gum disease. Fatty fish is also high in vitamin D which among its other health benefits has also been found to reduce tooth decay.

Grass-Fed Dairy

Why: Chlorophyll processed by cows produces Vitamin K2, a nutrient needed by teeth.

Vitamin K2 works together with Vitamins A and D to deliver calcium to your teeth. Getting  Vitamins A and D can be done with a healthy diet. But vitamin K2 is elusive these days due to a few logistics of food processing. K2 can be processed from chlorophyll-rich plants but humans don’t have the enzyme. Fortunately, cows do. Dairy from grass-fed herds includes a higher amount of K2 which is essential for teeth receiving calcium from the body.

Citrus Fruit

Why: High Vitamin C levels increase blood flow to the mouth and gums, reducing gum inflammation. Citrus can reduce bleeding gums.

Citrus fruit is a debated topic in oral health. On one hand, eating citrus daily has been found to reduce gum bleeding and inflammation. This is considered related to direct exposure to vitamin C content and citric acid. On the other hand, citrus is highly sugary and citric acid can damage your tooth enamel. Enjoy citrus fruits, but rinse your mouth so that the sugar and citric acid don’t linger on your teeth.

Almonds

Why: Calcium-rich and fibrous, almonds also increase saliva production.

Almonds are rich in calcium, a nutrient essential for building and strengthening teeth. They also make a great non-sugary snack that still tastes luxurious. Chewing almonds and other nuts can increase your saliva production which promotes your mouth’s natural self-cleaning capabilities. Snacking on almonds is a great tooth-healthy option.

Strawberries

Why: Malic acid increases saliva. Ellagitannins and antioxidants that reduce bacteria, reduce tooth staining, and reduce gum inflammation

Strawberries contain a unique acid called malic acid which increases saliva production. This enhances the mouth’s self-cleaning abilities and blends with the other benefits of eating berries. Like other berries. strawberries contain antioxidants together with ellagitannins that reduce the bacteria in your mouth and reduce gum inflammation. Unlike other berries, strawberries actually help to reduce tooth staining.

Yogurt

Why: Calcium, dairy, beneficial bacteria for the oral microbiome.

Dairy is always good for teeth, but yogurt has a special benefit due to the new blend of healthy bacteria that yogurt brings. The cultures in yogurt create a more positive oral microbiome in your mouth by fighting and neutralizing the other bad bacteria. As a dairy, yogurt is rich in calcium as well to promote strong teeth.

Raisins

Why: Phytochemicals kill bacteria

Raisins are uniquely good for your teeth in comparison to most dry fruits. As long as they don’t stick and linger, the phytochemicals in raisins can be helpful to your mouth microbiome. Phytochemicals kill bacteria, reducing gum inflammation and tooth decay. After eating this dried fruit, just remember to brush and floss as they are very sticky and the sugar in them should not be sitting on your teeth for a long period of time.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Why: Contains carvacrol, adenosine, copalic acid, and erythritol that prevent cavities and gum disease.

Good oral health on the other side of the world has been partially credited to shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms include biologically active compounds that, together, prevent cavities and gum disease. The compounds include those named carvacrol, adenosine, copalic acid, and erythritol. These work together to provide good oral health when mushrooms are eaten regularly.

Cheese

Why: Vitamin D & calcium for strong bones. Minerals neutralize the acid from plaque and results in less tooth decay.

Cheese is a good source of both Vitamin D and Calcium. These are well known to work together for building strong bones and teeth. Cheeses also tend to create a variety of minerals that help to neutralize the acid emitted by plaque. Because this acid is plaque’s way of eating down teeth, your tooth decay can be slowed by eating cheeses.

Oats and Other Whole Grains

Why: Fibrous, improve sugar processing

Processed flour and fluffy bread are bad for your teeth, but whole grains are better. Oats and other chewy whole grains provide some scrubbing action because they are highly fibrous. In addition, eating whole grains improves your ability to process sugar in the bloodstream. Low-sugar meals including whole grains like oats or barley can improve your oral health over time.

Leafy Green Salads

Why: Produce a nitrite-reducing barrier and increase nitric acid. Dark greens include calcium and other nutrients.

Most fresh produce is good for your teeth, but dark green leafy vegetables are the best. Dark greens include calcium and other earth minerals that are good for growing strong teeth. Leafy greens also produce nitric acid and create a barrier that reduces nitrite in the mouth. This promotes a better oral microbiome while also eating nutrients for healthy teeth.

Cinnamon

Why: contains cinnamic aldehyde oil known to kill oral bacteria

Cinnamon is a powerful spice with some known medicinal properties. In terms of keeping your teeth healthy, cinnamon contains the cinnamic aldehyde oil inside your mouth. This oil can kill oral bacteria. You can make a cinnamon mouthwash or you can just enjoy more cinnamon in your cooking and warm drinks.

Don’t be afraid, give us a call today so we can not only help you with your oral care, but also help you with your dental care anxiety. Come in to Smiles for Health so we can assess your teeth and help you get ahead of your dental care. Also ask us about our teeth whitening services!