Get the Best Food for Teeth With Dental Superfoods

Thursday, January 5, 2023
Get the Best Food for Teeth With Dental Superfoods

Are you familiar with the saying “You are what you eat”?

The idea is that putting fried, sugary, fatty, highly processed, and nutritionless foods into your body will not do you any favors. You may not just become sluggish and overweight—but you also run the risk of developing heart issues, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, certain cancers, depression, and much more. In fact, the saying’s never been more true than when it comes to our teeth: eating unhealthy foods also leads to tooth decay and bad breath!

What foods are good for your teeth? When you think about it, it’s no coincidence that the foods that are good for your body are also good for your teeth and gums. After all, food and drink pass through the mouth first. But certain “dental superfoods” can have a real impact on your oral health. What are they, and what do they do? You may be surprised by what’s on the list in addition to the usual healthy selections you’d expect to see.

The Top 10 Best Foods for Your Teeth

The infographic below, created by one of our dental students, offers a good checklist of what foods are good for your teeth and why you should include these in your diet:

  1. Dark chocolate. You may be surprised to find chocolate on this list. But it contains CBH, a compound that helps harden tooth enamel.
  2. Almonds. These nuts are full of protein and calcium, with the added bonus of helping scrape off plaque when you chew them.
  3. Garlic. This one may seem counterintuitive because garlic can contribute to bad breath. But allicin, a compound derived from garlic, keeps the bacteria that cause tooth decay from overgrowing in the mouth.
  4. Leafy greens. These are jam-packed with calcium, vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin C that can keep teeth healthy, along with the added bonus of filling you up with fewer calories.
  5. Cheese. Milk products can build strong bones, and cheese is no exception.
  6. Salmon. This and other fatty fish provide vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 acids that promote gum health.
  7. Fruits and vegetables. These do so much good for your oral health by helping kill some oral bacteria, acting as a natural toothbrush, providing vitamins, and more.
  8. Strawberries. These contain malic acid, a natural tooth whitener.
  9. Unsweetened yogurt. This provides calcium for strong bones, teeth, and tooth enamel.
  10. Green and black teas. These beverages do more than help you relax. They contain fluoride that protects against tooth decay and also helps reduce gum inflammation.

A father and daughter are smiling as they drink milk, a dental superfood.

Note that all of these dental superfoods contain vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants that affect tooth and gum health:

  • Vitamin C supports the connective tissues in your gums.
  • Vitamin D is important for tooth mineralization and fighting inflammation and decay.
  • Vitamin A helps with saliva production, which helps clean bacteria and food from teeth.
  • Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth.
  • Phosphorus helps absorb calcium and rebuild tooth enamel.
  • Antioxidants such as polyphenols help neutralize free radicals in the mouth and repair damage.

In most instances, following a healthy diet that includes foods for teeth health will naturally provide these essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But talk to a Penn Dental Medicine dentist or your doctor if you have any concerns about your levels before taking any supplements.

Other Benefits You Get When You Eat Foods for Healthy Teeth

A mother and daughter work at a kitchen island, making a salad filled with dental superfoods.

When you eat healthy foods, you’ll not only reduce the chance of developing health risks or lessen their effects, but you’ll feel better, too. You’ll have more energy to go about your daily activities. And you may also find that you have better digestion, get a better night’s sleep, and feel more positive. Take a look at this dental “superfoods” infographic to make it easy to keep track of the best foods for your teeth.

Visit Penn Dental Medicine for Expert Dental Care in Philadelphia

In addition to a healthy diet, a large part of good oral health is visiting your dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams. Philadelphia’s Penn Dental Medicine is committed to providing affordable, patient-centered dental care through our coordinated health-care team of faculty, students, and staff. Download our helpful chart, “The Evidence You Need to Pick the Right Dentist,” to learn more about all we can do for you. Then, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment when you’re ready. We look forward to talking more about dental superfoods soon.

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