Diet for dental health: best and worst foods for tooth and gums

Nutrition affects your entire body from the inside out. If you’re not eating and drinking the right things on a regular basis, then you’ll be more susceptible to disease and dental problems. Changing your daily diet and oral hygiene habits will improve your overall health and well-being. Here are a few simple steps you can take toward a more nutritious lifestyle that will result in healthier teeth and gums.

how does nutrition affect oral health?

We all want to be able to live life to the fullest with the best health possible. Dental issues can get in the way by causing pain, discomfort, or embarrassment. Think of your mouth as the gateway to your body and don’t underestimate how it affects your entire self. With excellent nutrition, you can improve your oral and overall health. If you follow a healthy diet, practice good oral hygiene, and visit the dentist regularly, then you’ll be well on your way to living your best life. If you have any dental concerns, don’t delay, and address them with your dentist today.



Tooth enamel is the toughest tissue of the whole human body. Keep the tough shell that covers the tooth at its strongest by adding these tooth-fortifying foods to your regular diet.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Parents around the world tell their kids to eat their fruits and vegetables for good reason. These fresh food items are full of nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. They also have a good amount of water and fibre to balance out the natural sugars they contain. Chewing raw fruits and vegetables, especially crunchy ones, stimulates saliva production to wash away acids and food particles. These things can harm teeth if they stick around for too long in the mouth.

Some fruits and vegetables pack a bigger nutritional punch than others, so you may wonder how to make the best choices. If you eat a colourful variety, then you don’t need to worry, your body will receive plenty of nutrients. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are a wonderful choice. They are rich in vitamin C and calcium, which helps to reduce inflammation and battle gum disease. Calcium also strengthens tooth enamel and bones. Eat greens in a fresh salad, add them to sandwiches, or blend them into soups or smoothies.

Sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, and butternut squash are great choices, as well shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms are a super food that contain lentinan, an antibacterial compound that prevents bacterial growth and fights against plaque buildup.

Citrus fruits and berries also have good amounts of vitamin C and calcium. Just be sure you don’t overdo it with fruit, even though the sugar in them is natural, it’s still sugar.


Lean proteins that are rich in phosphorus help to strengthen teeth. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs are all considered good proteins to consume. Nuts, beans, and seeds are other top protein choices that have healthy fibre and vital minerals as well.



Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are high in calcium. They contain a protein called casein that helps to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth which stabilizes and repairs enamel. Dairy foods, including cheese, are rich in tooth- and bone-fortifying calcium. Not all cheese products are high in calcium though, so be sure to check the label to see what percentage of your daily recommended calcium amount each serving is giving you. Just be sure to check dairy labels for added sugars and choose low-sugar or sugar-free options.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Spinach and other leafy greens are loaded with fiber, which is excellent for your teeth because it requires a lot of chewing to break down and generates saliva that cleans and rinses your teeth while also neutralizing acid. Not keen on greens? A bowl of high-fiber beans offers the same benefit.

Wild Salmon

Wild Salmon

It’s important to get enough calcium in your diet in order to protect your teeth and gums from disease. However, your body can’t absorb all that calcium if you don’t have enough vitamin D. Fatty fish (such a salmon) is a fantastic source of vitamin D, allowing your teeth and gums to get the full disease-fighting benefits of calcium from the foods you eat.

Green Tea

Green Tea

This healing elixir has many research-backed benefits thanks to its powerful bacteria- and disease-fighting antioxidants, which have the ability to protect teeth by preventing plaque from sticking to them. Teas also typically have fluoride in them, which prevents tooth decay and fortifies enamel. If green tea is too bitter for you, try sipping milder black tea that offers similar protection for your teeth and gums.

Carrot Sticks

Carrot Sticks

Raw carrots, and other raw veggies and fruits that require a lot of chewing, such as apples, pears and cucumbers, can all strengthen your teeth. All the chewing also disrupts bacteria-filled plaque and cleanses the teeth and gums.


Saliva is made up of 99.5% water. Dehydration can thicken your saliva, which wreaks havoc in the mouth.

Optimum levels of water in your saliva are essential to the breakdown of food, neutralising bacterial acid (hello morning breath!) and preventing tooth decay. While water still isn’t as good as a toothbrush and floss, it can still aid in reducing plaque by rinsing away food debris. Rinsing with water after drinking coffee or having other staining foods can help reduce staining to the teeth.


Yes, you heard right. Chocolate! As long as it’s at least 70% cacao, and eaten in moderation of course. Dark chocolate is a superfood for the teeth due to a compound called CBH which has shown to help harden tooth enamel, making your teeth less susceptible to tooth decay. However, not every kind of chocolate is good for you. The cocoa bean is what houses the good stuff – not the chocolate itself – so make sure you opt for the dark chocolate option and remember to brush your teeth afterwards.

If you have braces, it’s a good idea to avoid chocolate with nuts. You should also store your chocolate treats at room temperature rather than in the fridge – cold, hard chocolate can be tough to bite.

Chew sugar-free gum

 If you’re having a hard time sticking to a no-snacking policy, try sugar-free chewing gum. “Chewing sugarless gum after a meal or snack reduces the risk of cavities. This is because chewing gum stimulates saliva and moves the materials that can lead to tooth decay. the increased saliva also adds calcium and phosphate to the mouth, which makes tooth enamel stronger. You’ll also get the added benefit of fresh-smelling breath.

The Worst Foods for tooth

Lime, Lemons, Oranges, and Grapefruit

Lime, Lemons, Oranges, and Grapefruit

It’s no surprise that citrus is loaded with citric acid. Quantitative assessment of citric acid in lemon juice, lime juice, and commercially-available fruit juice products. Strong acids (foods with a low pH rating) are the number-one cause of enamel erosion and tooth decay.The role of diet in the aetiology of dental erosion. But if you just can’t go without a glass of orange juice in the morning, minimize your acid exposure by drinking the juice in one sitting (a.k.a. not sipping for hours) and then avoiding other acidic foods and drinks for several hours. And keep in mind: If a food or drink easily stains the teeth, it’s usually fairly acidic. Go ahead and make oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus regular features in your fruit bowl, but just remember to wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after you eat citrus fruits.


What happens when you mix veggies and vinegar? If you guessed a tooth’s worst nightmare, you’d be right. Pickles are tasty on a sandwich, but the combination of super-acidic vinegar and sugar is a recipe for enamel erosion.


Sorry, coffee addicts. Not so surprisingly, that morning cup (or three) of Joe puts oral health at risk. The tannic acids in coffee (and some teas) wear down enamel and can even stain teeth brown. The effect of at-home bleaching and toothbrushing on removal of coffee and cigarette smoke stains and color stability of enamel. But if you refuse to give up your brew, take heart: Coffee does have several health benefits.


They might make taste buds happy all summer long, but tomatoes are less beneficial for teeth. Both raw and in sauce form, tomatoes are pretty acidic. The solution? Eat them as part of a meal to get the health benefits, and avoid the dental issues.


soda is bad for happiness and health. The combination of sugar, acids, and carbonation is a death sentence for teeth. Countless studies have linked soda consumption (both regular and diet) with tooth erosion and decay.


Chowing down on tons of sugar is bad for tooth health. The sweet stuff can cause cavities and get stuck in crevices (becoming tasty fodder for bacteria).Hard candies are particularly bad for your pearly whites. Lollipops, mints, and any other sugary treats (even cough drops) that linger in the mouth expose teeth to sugar and acids for a long period of time. They’re much worse than a sugary treat that’s quickly chewed and swallowed (especially if they’re sour or tart flavored).

Dried Fruit

Though yummy in granola or energy bars, dried fruit is a perfect storm of stickiness and chewiness. The gooey bits are practically made for getting stuck between teeth, and most dried fruits (even those without added sugars) are off-the-charts sweet.

Tips to have healthy tooth

Avoiding dentures by age 40 doesn’t mean swearing off all dark liquids, sweets, and citrus fruits. Keeping teeth healthy (and making the dentist happy) is all about using techniques that limit damage. Here are a few easy tips:

  • Eat acidic or sugary foods or drinks as part of a mealrather than on their own. Pro tip: Though brushing after a meal is generally a good idea, avoid brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods. Acid softens your enamel, and brushing can speed up tooth wear.
  • Limit snacking on acidic or high-sugar foods.
  • Use a flouride toothpaste, which can help repair enamel, and reduce the risk of tooth decay and dental erosion.
  • Don’t swish acidic drinks or hold them in your mouth—this exposes the teeth to acids for longer than necessary. Better yet, use a strawwhen drinking coffee, wine, or soda to protect enamel. The bartender might poke fun, but we’ll see who’s laughing at your next dentist appointment.

Take breaks

 Try not to eat or drink constantly. Your mouth needs breaks to process what you’re putting in it. “Spacing meals and beverages apart by at least two hours reduces risk of tooth decay. your mouth produces more saliva during a meal, which can help wash away food particles, than it does in between meals. But ongoing snacking — especially with snack choices that are bad for your teeth, like potato chips or candy — could leave residual particles on your teeth.

Eat a balanced diet

eating a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein such as fish or beans, and dairy to help keep your teeth healthy. Eating a variety of these healthy foods can help you get the nutrients you need to promote oral health.