Surprising Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth and Gums
On this page, we’re going to share with you a list of foods good for your teeth and gums.
Need some new ideas for healthy snacks?
Even if you’re not on a specific type of diet, the foods that you eat affect your body and your tooth and gum health. We’ve got some healthy food ideas that can benefit your oral health while you eat them!
Cheese – The Sharp Kind
We’ve known for a long time that dairy is loaded with calcium, which is important for healthy teeth and bones. But the latest research shows that cheese — specifically sharp blends like cheddar — can help neutralize pH levels inside of your mouth, lowering how damaging dental plaque is on your teeth.
If you’re craving a mid-afternoon snack and looking for foods good for teeth, cheese may be the best option. Especially if you’re not able to brush after you eat it. Since other foods can leave lingering acids that feed plaque and contribute to tooth decay, swapping those snacks out for sharp cheeses can do less damage on your smile.
TIP: Buy individually wrapped cheddar or string cheese to keep in your fridge for those last-minute snack cravings.
Crispy Fruits and Veggies
Carrots, apples, celery – you name it! These fibrous rich, crispy, crunchy fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy. But that isn’t the only perk. They also clean your teeth and massage your gum tissues while you bite down on them, making them a guilt-free snack you can eat all day long. If you’re craving something sweet, this is a smart way to indulge.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your body’s ability to heal and recover. It also boosts brain health! Fish (particularly the fatty portions) are Omega 3 dense, making them a great choice for getting plenty of this nutrient in your diet.
If you’ve had gum disease in the past, fish is a good food for healthy teeth and gums. Some studies suggest that Omega 3s make it easier for your gum tissues to heal and recover during periodontal therapy.
Nuts are another type of food for healthy teeth and gums. Specifically nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts. Depending on which type of nut you like best — and assuming you don’t have any nut allergies — they’re a natural source of magnesium, iron, and folic acid.
But be careful. If you have teeth that are cracked or old dental work that’s starting to give out, you may not want to snack on harder nuts like almonds. Otherwise, you run the risk of possibly making the crack even worse. Ultimately those types of scenarios are a “matter of time” so to speak, so it’s best to see our dentist in Princeton to have those teeth repaired ASAP.
TIP: Nuts have a long shelf life, so keep a can in your desk or car for when cravings pop up out of the blue. Nuts will help you stay fuller between meals.
Air popped, butter-free popcorn is low in calories so you can eat it without feeling guilty. Plus, the fibrous texture is great for cleaning plaque off of your teeth while you chew it.
But there’s one downside to popcorn: the kernels can easily get stuck between your teeth or slide down under your gums, posing some serious irritation. Flossing may not even work very well to get it out! If you’re someone who knows you have some gum pockets or a trouble spot in your mouth, try to avoid chewing popcorn in those areas.
Chewing Gum (With Xylitol!)
Among the best food for teeth, you’ll find a non-food item that’s also beneficial: chewing gum. But not just any gum; only the ones that contain xylitol. This artificial sweetener is a natural plaque repellant, because the molecular makeup prevents plaque’s ability to build up and stick to your teeth. If you have a high risk of cavities or are looking for a great way to lower your plaque levels throughout the day, consider chewing on a piece of gum that contains xylitol.
A Word About Beverages
The drinks you like to sip on play just as big of a role as food, for healthy teeth and gums. Specific beverages such as sports drinks, fruit juices, and diet soda still have sweeteners in them that feed bacteria and increase acid levels inside of your mouth. So even if you’re great about eating foods that prevent tooth decay, these drinks could drastically raise your chances of getting cavities.
While our Princeton dentist isn’t going to tell you to cut out all of your favorite drinks for good, remember that moderation is key. So, if you’re going to enjoy a soda, try to limit how much contact time it has on your teeth. Drink it all at once at a meal (instead of sipping on it for a few hours) and then rinse your mouth out with water afterwards. The same goes for your flavored coffee or sports drink.
It’s Still Important to Brush and Floss
No matter how good a food is for your tooth and gum health, the byproducts that are produced when they’re broken down for digestion (with saliva) help produce plaque biofilm. It’s those bacteria that etch away at your enamel and feed gum disease.
So even with a balanced diet, you need to be brushing and flossing each day.
Do Some Foods Bother Your Teeth?
Have you noticed specific types of food causing tooth sensitivity? Maybe a hot food causes a dull ache, or an occasional piece of chocolate leads to a sharp jolt in a specific tooth? Then it’s important for our family dentist to evaluate your teeth to see what’s going on. These early symptoms could be a warning sign that you’re starting to develop tooth decay or an underlying abscess.
Are you looking for the best dentist in the Princeton area? Canal Vista Family Dental offers comprehensive care for all ages! Contact us today to request your first appointment with Dr. Bestandji.