What Are the Best Foods for Teeth?

We all know certain foods are important for your overall health, but did you know there are foods vital to your oral health? Healthy teeth and gums rely on certain vitamins and minerals found in particular fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. 

At Endicott Dental, we encourage our patients to do all they can to keep their smiles healthy. Yes, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth daily, and it’s important to visit us twice a year for a thorough examination and cleaning. It’s also important to eat healthy foods that will keep your teeth clean, increase saliva, and strengthen your enamel. 

What are the foods that are good for your teeth? Let’s find out!

strong teeth care

What Makes Teeth Stronger?

Your teeth are made up of a hard outer shell called the enamel, a softer inner area called the dentin, and a center of living tissue called the pulp. It’s the job of the enamel and dentin to protect the pulp, which is where your nerves and blood vessels reside in your tooth. If those get damaged, your tooth could die and fall out. 

The enamel is your tooth’s first and most powerful line of defense. The hard shell can withstand a lot, including chewing hard foods such as hard candy, ice, tortilla chips, and other tough foods. Usually, your tooth is safe as long as the enamel is undamaged. 

Your enamel is made up of minerals and is strengthened by fluoride. This substance reacts with your saliva to absorb into the enamel and strengthen it. It’s why we encourage you to brush with fluoride toothpaste. 

Top Tooth-Healthy Foods

Certain foods and drinks can improve the health of your teeth and gums, while other foods can damage them. Doctors and dentists encourage you to eat healthy foods, but let’s be more specific. 

What are the foods that prevent tooth decay? What are some enamel-strengthening foods? Are there foods that remove tartar from teeth? 

It’s about a lot more than cutting out sugary foods. These foods can make your oral health better. 

Most foods that are good for your body are foods that are good for your teeth. However, some foods are better for your teeth because they have the building blocks necessary for strong teeth and healthy gums. 

Your teeth and gums need more than just fluoride to be healthy. They also need calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and D. Foods rich in these will help keep your teeth strong. 

Enamel-Strengthening Foods and Drinks

Fluoride is the best thing for your teeth, though, and it can be found in several foods and drinks. One of the best sources of fluoride is tap water. Most cities add fluoride to water to protect your teeth. The more tap water you drink, the better you’re fortifying your enamel, so drink plenty of water! 

Black tea also contains fluoride, as well as antioxidants that make your teeth and gums healthier. This is assuming you don’t add any sugar to that tea. 

What about foods that are good for your teeth? Most people know milk “does a body good,” but it does a smile good, too. That’s because it has calcium, a key mineral in the enamel of your teeth. Other forms of dairy, such as yogurt, cheese, and cream, are also high in calcium. 

You can also find calcium in nuts, such as almonds. It’s why almond milk is so high in calcium. Nuts also contain protein, which helps build strong gums. 

Did you know you can find fluoride in certain fruits and vegetables? Some of the best foods for healthy teeth include beets, carrots, canned tomatoes, and seafood. 

Foods That Remove Tartar From Teeth

Food and drink leave residue on your teeth, called plaque. If you don’t brush properly, that plaque can build up and harden, which becomes tartar. Usually, tartar must be removed by a professional dentist. 

Some foods you can eat will help scrub your teeth and keep tartar from building up. Apples and pears are solid foods that can scrape plaque off your teeth as you eat. Carrots and celery can also do that, along with citrus fruits such as oranges and pineapples, as well as strawberries and hard cheeses. 

These foods also increase your saliva production. Saliva is necessary to interact with fluoride and strengthen your enamel, but it also cleans off your teeth as you eat. 

Foods to Fight Tooth Infection

Are there foods to eat with a tooth infection? Tooth infections are caused by bacteria in the mouth. Certain foods can reduce the bacteria with natural probiotics and anti-inflammatory nutrients and promote healing. 

These foods include raw onions, hard cheeses, cloves, fatty fish, bell peppers, and, yes, apples. (An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it will also make your dentist very happy!) Chamomile tea and ginger-root tea also provide nutrients that can reduce inflammation.

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Worst Foods for Teeth

Some foods increase saliva production, while others decrease it. Many of the foods in this category are considered “junk food.” This includes tortilla chips, potato chips, candy, cookies, pudding, and other sugary foods. It also includes sodas, “power” drinks, and wine. 

Most of these foods are high in processed sugar. Unlike natural sugar in fruits and vegetables, processed sugars leave a lot of plaque on the teeth and don’t stimulate enough saliva to remove it. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. It’s why we encourage our patients to avoid high-sugar foods.

Healthy Teeth in Broken Arrow, OK

A balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is great for your overall health, but it’s just as important for your oral health. Eating the right foods can strengthen your teeth, protect your gums, and give you a smile that can last a lifetime. 

It takes more than just healthy eating to maintain that smile. You also need to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss at least once a day. It’s also important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough checkup and cleaning. 
Schedule an appointment with Endicott Dental if you are in Broken Bow, OK, for your dental care. We’re happy to talk to you about the best foods to eat for healthy teeth and the foods to avoid. We want you to have the best smile possible!

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