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Tooth-Healthy Nutrition: The Best Choices For Your Smile

Having healthy teeth and gums is crucial for your systemic health, and the foods you eat can have a big impact on your oral health. Some foods can stain or damage your teeth, while others can help strengthen and protect them. 


In this blog, our Mississauga, Dr. John Inigo at East Credit Dental discusses some of the best foods to eat for healthy teeth. 

Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt contain calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen and rebuild tooth enamel. The casein protein in dairy also adheres to your teeth, creating a protective film that can help prevent cavities and tooth decay. 


When choosing dairy foods, go for low-fat or fat-free versions to avoid extra saturated fat. Greek yogurt, for example, has less sugar than regular yogurt.

Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, and broccoli are rich sources of calcium and vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are crucial for building strong teeth and bones. The fiber in leafy greens also helps scrub away plaque and food particles that can lead to cavities. Be sure to eat leafy greens raw or lightly steamed to get the most nutrients.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes contain vitamin C, which is essential for healthy gums. Vitamin C helps the gums create collagen and heal from inflammation or damage caused by gum disease. The acidity in citrus can also help break down plaque buildup. Just be aware of the sugar and acid content in citrus fruits, as too much can erode tooth enamel.

Crunchy Fruits and Veggies

Foods like apples, carrots, celery, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables help clean teeth by producing saliva and scrubbing away bacteria and plaque. They also force you to chew more, which increases blood flow to the mouth and strengthens the gums. Be sure to thoroughly chew crunchy produce to reap the oral health benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea contains antioxidants, called catechins, that have anti-inflammatory and antiviral benefits and help reduce gum disease and prevent cavities. Research shows catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Drinking unsweetened green tea is an easy way to improve oral health.

Meat and Poultry

Protein foods like chicken, turkey, beef, and pork contain phosphorus, which combines with calcium to form our teeth’s outer surface, made of hydroxyapatite crystals. Meat also provides vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is necessary for healthy oral tissue. Go for leaner cuts of meat and eat in moderation, as too much red meat can promote gum disease from increased inflammation.

Fluoride-Rich Foods

Foods containing fluoride, like fish, tea, and fluoridated water, help prevent cavities and tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. Fluoride aids remineralization and inhibits the enzyme activity of bacteria that erode teeth. Seafoods like salmon and sardines, as well as black and green tea, are top fluoride-rich foods.

Crunchy Nuts and Seeds

Like raw fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds require thorough chewing to break them down, which gives your teeth a good cleaning. They also contain protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin E for stronger enamel. Go for unsalted varieties to minimize sodium, but enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation since they’re high in fat.


Water washes away food particles and neutralizes acid in your mouth, preventing erosion of tooth enamel. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after meals and sugary or acidic drinks. Fluoridated water provides extra protection.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a sugar that inhibits harmful bacteria in your mouth. Lentinan also prevents plaque from forming on teeth and reduces gum inflammation. Enjoy shiitakes sautéed or in soups.


Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, helps clean plaque buildup from teeth and fights staining. The vitamin C in pineapple also keeps gums healthy. Enjoy fresh pineapple or pineapple juice for a smile-brightening snack.


Onions contain antibacterial sulfur compounds that fight cavities and gum disease. The crispness also helps scrub plaque from teeth. Raw onions are best, as cooking destroys beneficial sulfur compounds.


The powerful antibacterial properties of garlic help kill harmful mouth bacteria. Garlic also discourages plaque formation, reduces inflammation, and enhances immune defenses against periodontal disease.

Protect Your Pearly Whites

A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of tooth-strengthening foods will go a long way toward keeping your mouth — and the rest of you — in good shape. Avoid sugary and acidic foods that erode tooth enamel, and brush and floss daily to keep your teeth clean. With proper nutrition and oral care, you can maintain a dazzling smile for life.

Start filling your grocery cart with these tooth-healthy foods and call (905) 567-1132 today to schedule an appointment at East Credit Dental. Your teeth will thank you!

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