Better Food Choices for Good Oral Health

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Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

November 6, 2018

Just as proper diet can be important to your overall health, it can also have a major influence on your oral health. There are foods and beverage choices that can avoid doing any harm to your teeth and gums and which can also impart a favorable effect on them. In most cases, the foods which are beneficial for oral health, are also flavorful and tasty, so that you’ll enjoy including them in your diet.

Eating foods which promote oral health is a good practice to get into, because it can make your teeth last longer in life, and it can help you avoid many of the oral health issues which tend to affect people later on. Here are some of the foods which are most beneficial for oral health, along with some which should be avoided as detrimental to your teeth and gums.

Vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, so using sesame oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are all great ways to add extra nutrition into what you eat. You need to be careful in choosing the kind of vegetable oils which you purchase, however, because processed vegetable oils are often loaded with trans fats. These are known to be toxic to the body, and any buildup of trans fats has the potential for causing serious health issues. By sticking with the three types of vegetable oils listed above, you can avoid any kind of toxicity, and do your body a favor at the same time.


There are a surprising number of benefits which accrue to a person who includes regular cheese consumption as part of their diet. There is a protein known as casein in cheese which actually coats your teeth with a thin film, that acts as a shield against acids attacking tooth enamel. Eating cheese also stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and since saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, good things happen with more saliva.

Many kinds of sugar, acids, and bacteria can all be rinsed out of the mouth by a healthy supply of saliva. The cheeses which are most beneficial in this regard are Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Brie, and Camembert. So the next time you feel inclined to reach for a candy bar or any other sugary kind of snack, try reaching for a small block of Cheddar Cheese instead.

Fruits and vegetables

This category of orally healthy foods should be qualified to include the fresh and raw versions of fruits and vegetables, rather than those which are canned, frozen, or cooked in some way. There are all kinds of health benefits which accrue to a person who includes lots of raw fruits and vegetables, while also reducing the input of meats and starchy foods.

Not only do raw fruits and veggies help to cleanse your mouth, but when eaten in their fresh state, they are more nutritional than at any other time. Some of the crispiest and crunchiest versions of these, e.g. carrots, celery, apples, and raw broccoli, are fantastic sources of minerals and vitamins needed by the body. They can also help to prevent bad breath, while providing a delicious and nutritious snack.

Some of the leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and lettuce, are also good sources of minerals and vitamins, and virtually all fresh fruits and vegetables help to keep your teeth clean. When teeth are kept clean, there is less chance for plaque to form in the mouth, and that can stave off the effects of periodontal or gum disease.

Poor Food Choices

Just as there are some very good choices for oral health, there are some very bad ones as well. Many of these are things you already know about, but a few may surprise you. For instance, by now probably everyone is aware that candy and sweet treats can be very bad for your teeth, so you should avoid things like hard candies, cookies, muffins, cakes, and pies, as much as possible.

Not everything which is harmful for your teeth is sugary though. Snacks like pretzels, potato chips, and French fries, can all stick to your teeth, and promote the development of bacteria. If you can’t avoid snacks which stick to the teeth, you can at least reduce your vulnerability by brushing and flossing afterward.

You can also avoid significant damage to your oral health by brushing after eating sugary snacks, but that will not reduce the harm they cause to your general health. It is also especially bad to drink many sodas or carbonated beverages, because they contain acids which can attack tooth enamel. By far the best choice for quenching your thirst is plain old pure drinking water.


Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Hello there, great choice moving towards the personal dental health care you desire!

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