No one wants to spend their golden years rocking dentures. This is why our dental health is so important. 

We know brushing and flossing are essential tools to keep our pearly whites in tip-top shape but, did you know that the foods we eat also play a role? 

Whether it’s foods that keep our teeth clean or foods that support the health of our teeth from the inside out, diet is essential for proper oral health. 

Let’s look at some top foods that can help keep our smiles shining bright. 


A fancy word for fibrous foods, roughage can help clean our teeth while chewing. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are not only nutritious, but they also work as a natural toothbrush. 

Choosing more of these foods can help to prevent the buildup of plaque. It also helps to avoid consuming highly processed foods that can contain high amounts of sugar. 

Added sugars in foods can cause dental carries, also known as cavities. Below are some common crunchy produce items to consider adding to your weekly grocery list [1].

  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Carrots 
  • Celery
  • Leafy greens 
  • Cruciferous vegetables 


Dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, are rich in calcium and phosphorous. These minerals are essential for bone and tooth health. 

They keep our teeth strong and help maintain a healthy pH in our mouths to avoid bacterial growth. Some forms of dairy, such as milk, are fortified with vitamin D, another important nutrient for tooth strength. 

Be careful when choosing your dairy products to avoid ones with added sugars, such as sweetened yogurts and flavored milk, as these harm our dental health if consumed often [2].


Rich in calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D, nuts can be especially beneficial for our teeth. 

They are also crunchy, allowing for more of that natural toothbrush effect. Most nuts are naturally low in carbohydrates, which helps to avoid any risk of tooth decay. 

Carbohydrates are an umbrella term for sugars, both natural and artificial. Even some naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruits, can cause dental carries if consumed in excess or if proper dental hygiene is not practiced [2].

Tea and Coffee 

Coffee and tea contain compounds known as polyphenols. These are naturally found in plant foods that act as antioxidants. 

Polyphenols can help to prevent bacterial growth on our teeth. They also act as anti-inflammatory agents, helping to protect against dental diseases. 

You can get bonus points if you use fluorinated water for your brew and avoid adding sugar or sweetened creamers. You can also find polyphenols in berries, cocoa, and some nuts and seeds [3].

Bottom Line

Have you noticed a trend yet? To put it simply, choosing a healthy diet rich in whole foods and low in processed sugars is going to be beneficial for your teeth. 

Not only do these foods help to prevent bacterial growth but they also support a healthy body and immune system to keep everything up and running as it should. Now that’s something to smile about. 

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