9 Superfoods That Are Great For Your Dental Health

Superfoods are great for general health as well as our dental health. Find out what superfoods will give you the nutrients you need for healthy teeth and gums.

9 Superfoods that are great for your dental health

Photo from Flickr by Jules Morgan.


Restoring and maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums isn't as hard as we might think. In minor cases, it's as simple as eating a healthy balanced diet so our bodies can get the nutrients they need for good health. Keeping our bodies healthy with the right vitamins and minerals will help our mouths fight against bacteria and infections.

According to the American Dental Association, one of the first areas of decline as a result of a poor diet is our oral health. We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. Without the proper dental care, it causes cavities, inflammation in the gums, and tooth decay. Aside from the harmful effects it has on our immune system, sugar, carbohydrates, and starches contribute to the plaque acids that attack our tooth enamel, eventually dissolving the enamel and forming a hole in the tooth called a cavity.

A western diet has been shown to increase the likelihood of enamel erosion and tooth decay. By reducing our intake of grains and foods rich in phytic acid, such as oatmeal, beans, and nuts, and increasing our intake of nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, meat, and eggs, we allow our bodies to heal themselves naturally.

Foods rich in vitamins A and D are critical for our dental health. Calcium and phosphorus are also important for our teeth as they aid in the remineralization process for the tooth's enamel.

Incorporating certain foods into our meals will give us the most benefit. Here are some foods that are particularly important for your dental health.


Are you a cheese lover? Then here's your green light to eat it without guilt! Ok, cheese in moderation just like with everything else, but at least now you know a health benefit to eating cheese does exist.

Cheese is a great source of calcium which is an important nutrient for our teeth. Our teeth and jaws are mostly made up of calcium and when we don't get enough of it in our diet, we run the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Calcium is also found in other foods and liquids such as milk, yogurt, beans, and oysters.

There are two other great benefits to eating cheese. Studies have shown that cheese raises the pH level in our mouths and lowers our risk of tooth decay. It also promotes saliva production, so eating cheese at the end of a meal will help our mouths wash away food particles and bacteria.


Meat lovers can also rejoice in a number of health benefits of eating animal protein. Red meat is a great source of iron and vitamin B12 which are two other important nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy.

An iron or B12 deficiency can cause sores in the mouth and inflammation in the tongue.


Plain yogurt is worth mentioning twice because not only is it a great source of calcium and protein, but it is also a great source of probiotics. The probiotics, or the good bacteria, found in yogurt are healthy for our gums because the good bacteria crowd out the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Just be sure you buy the plain yogurt with no added sugar.

The taste of plain yogurt by itself can leave much to be desired, but it can be tasty when paired with fruit like apples or blueberries.

Leafy Greens

We all know eating more vegetables is good for our health. But leafy greens like kale and spinach are especially good for our teeth because they contain calcium and folic acid. Folic acid, also known as folate, is a type of B vitamin that is thought to treat gum disease in pregnant women. It also helps the body produce and maintain new cells and prevents changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.

Other sources of calcium include white beans, bok choy, kale, black-eyed peas, oranges, and almonds. Sources of folic acid include broccoli, turnip greens, okra, and asparagus.

Red Peppers

Red peppers are rich in vitamin C. They contain almost 300 percent of our daily vitamin C requirements. They also contain vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. While all peppers are great sources of these nutrients, red peppers contain almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green bell peppers. Green peppers are simply peppers that are harvested before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red.

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant widely recognized for its role in protecting the immune system and aiding the absorption of iron. It is also responsible for aiding in wound healing, repairing, and maintaining the health of our bones and teeth. It helps the gum lining stay healthy despite the bacteria that inhabit the mouth.

According to Good Gums, "when bacteria start to penetrate the gums, through tiny lesions or weakened lining, it is within the gums that the immune system fights to eradicate the harmful bacteria and to ensure the health of both the gums as well as the underlying tooth-supporting ligaments and bone."

A vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding gums and loose teeth. Studies have shown that an increase in vitamin C decreases gum bruising and bleeding.

Other foods rich in  vitamin C include oranges, mangoes, watermelon, and sweet potatoes.


There is no denying that carrots have a wide range of health benefits. They are good for the eyes, skin, nails, immune system, and even the mouth. This versatile root vegetable contains beta carotene, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Carrots act as antibacterial scrubbers for our teeth, stimulating the gums, eliminating sticky plaque, removing stains from the teeth, and killing germs in the mouth that cause tooth decay. They also trigger saliva production which helps keep our teeth clean after meals.


Almonds are a great source of calcium, fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. Sources say eating whole almonds are bad for the teeth because their hardness can cause cracked or chipped teeth, so it's best to eat them chopped or sliced. They make a great addition to a salad.

We've talked about the dental health benefits with calcium, but did you know that vitamin E is good for your teeth, too? It can help relieve pain in the gums and has been shown to be effective in preventing inflammation caused by periodontal disease.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, and eel are good sources of vitamin D which is essential for bone health. It helps the body absorb calcium. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to dry mouth which is a precursor for more serious dental health issues like gum disease and tooth decay.

The good source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, if you can't get enough sunlight, supplementing with seafood can help you get the right amount of vitamin D to maintain strong, healthy teeth. For example, just a 3-ounce sockeye salmon fillet contains about 450 IU (international units) of vitamin D.


Onions aren't known for their nutritional value compared to other vegetables, but they do contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help prevent diseases not just in the body but in the mouth as well. Chewing a raw onion can strengthen the teeth and kill off harmful bacteria in the mouth. Other benefits to onions include fighting inflammation, detoxing the body, and aiding osteoporosis.  

If chewing on a raw onion by itself isn't your thing, adding an onion slice to a sandwich or chopped onions to a salad is the next best thing.

In general, consuming more vegetables, preferably raw veggies, will help give our bodies the nutrients we need to stay healthy, protecting the health of our teeth and gums as well as the rest of our bodies.

Visiting with your dentist or licensed hygienist to discuss ways to improve dental health through a proper diet and to track the health of your teeth and gums is a great way to stay on top of your dental care before it escalates to a bigger issue like periodontal disease. Don't be afraid to ask your dentist to help you find natural solutions for restoring and maintaining a healthy mouth when you go in for your next dental cleaning.       











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