7 of the Best Foods for Teeth

by Premier Orthodontics

Spring is on the way, which is a time for growth and change.

What better time to help improve your health? Especially since March is National Nutrition Month!

With diet crazes everywhere, it can be hard to know what to prioritize when taking care of yourself and your family. Before you take a leap into health trends, consider everyday habits you can change, and simple things you might be overlooking.

Oftentimes, oral health is one of those things. Almost half of all Americans (46%) have untreated tooth decay or gum disease. 

That means bad news for more than just your teeth. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can both lead to full-body health challenges.

That could include things like halitosis (chronic bad breath) from the bacteria build-up, respiratory infections from inhaling that bacteria, or worse — things like heart disease and diabetes.

Having proper nutrition means choosing food that’s good for your teeth, too. Food that’s good for your teeth can help kill harmful bacteria before it can turn into plaque, and can help keep those gums pink and healthy.

If you have braces or Invisalign®, you may wonder which foods are good for teeth with traditional braces or Invisalign®. You may also be experiencing an “ortho diet” where some foods are more difficult to eat.

On your next grocery trip, add these teeth-friendly foods to your shopping list to help ensure your mouth and teeth are getting all the attention they deserve, even with braces!

1. Cheese

Cheese is good for more reasons than its nice creamy flavor and smooth texture. It also helps strengthen your teeth!

In a study by dental journal General Dentistry, kids who ate cheese had lower levels of mouth acid than kids who regularly ate sugar-free yogurt or who drank milk instead. That acid can wear down tooth enamel, making them more prone to cavities.

Like most dairy products cheese has bone-building calcium. But unlike other dairy products, it’s also thought to help neutralize plaque and increase saliva production.

Premier Tip: Soft cheeses like mozzarella (think string cheese!) are easy to eat and easy on braces. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria, helping keep your teeth clean. Ask our team about proxy brushes to help keep traditional braces clean between meals!

2. Strawberries

Those delectable berries that you’ve loved since you were a kid are also healthy for you in more ways than one!

Strawberries contain a special acid found in some fruits called malic acid. Malic acid just so happens to be a safe and natural way to whiten teeth.

Premier Tip: If you’re wearing Invisalign®, you can use strawberries to make an at-home whitening treatment when your teeth need a bit of brightening. Just be sure not to do it more than once a week, or the acid can become damaging.

All you need to do is crush a few strawberries into a pulp and mix in enough baking soda to create a slightly pasty consistency. Brush with the paste then let it sit for 5 minutes, brushing with regular toothpaste afterward to get off the sugars and other particles.

3. Onions

Sure, onions might not give you the best breathe after you eat them. But raw onions have a magical blend of anti-microbials and sulfur that helps kill tons of bacteria in your mouth.

In fact, they were found to have the power to wipe out 4 strains of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth AND the rest of your body!

Premier Tip: Chop up raw onions in your next salad or sandwich, and rest easy knowing you’re helping keep your mouth safe from yucky bacteria.

4. Salmon

Getting vitamin D in food can be challenging. But fatty fish like salmon are one of the few common types of food that have high amounts of vitamin D, as well as Calcium.

Calcium is great for building strong bones. But calcium doesn’t work as well if your body isn’t properly absorbing it.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb and process all the nutrients that help keep your mouth and body healthy, including calcium.

Salmon also contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s help keep your gums strong and protected from bacteria. They also contain anti-inflammatories, which can help ease the pain if your gums are inflamed, or if you just had your braces adjusted.

Premier Tip: Canned salmon typically doesn’t have bones that a whole fish will have. If you are eating fresh fish, be careful of the bones!

5. Celery

Celery is like nature’s toothbrush. The fibrous texture alone helps scrub teeth, and all the vitamins and minerals are a great added bonus,

Vitamin A in celery helps keep the mucus membranes healthy. That helps keep your mouth moisturized with saliva, which washes away harmful bacteria.

Like salmon, celery contains anti-inflammatories as well.

Premier Tip: Use celery juice in your smoothie, or include celery in your next meal to enjoy the full range of health benefits it provides.

6. Apples

Apples are tasty, healthy, and keep your teeth clean! What more could you ask for?

They’re high in fiber, which helps scrub particles off your teeth. The texture of apples also helps stimulate saliva production, so you don’t have to worry about the citric acids counteracting the healthy effects.

Premier Tip: If you have braces, you can still enjoy a good apple. Just be sure to slice it up into thin pieces before eating it, or add a fun twist by baking them.

7. Sugar-Free Flavored Water

We know – water isn’t food! But flavored water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks! Instead of soda or fruit juices which are high in sugars, reach for some sugar-free flavored water.

Flavored water can be sparkling (carbonated) or plain (still or flat). Water helps fight cavities by flushing away the leftover food bacteria they feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).

Sparkling water with added sugar is no longer as healthy or beneficial as sugar-free waters, though. They are a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities.

So remember — sparkling or not — water is always a Premier choice for hydration!

Celebrate Health This Month!

There’s nothing more empowering than taking your health into your own hands, and making sure you eat healthy is a great place to start!

Not only does it help your body prevent illness, but it keeps your mouth clean and fresh, and your teeth strong.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with us by enjoying a premier consultation for only $99!

Contact us today for a $99 consultation special >