10 Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
Clinical content featured by Byte is reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to help ensure clinical accuracy.
We follow strict sourcing guidelines and each page contains a full list of sources for complete transparency.
Table of Contents
- Foods for Good Teeth
- Food Groups to Incorporate
- Foods to Avoid
- Diet and Oral Health
Foods that are good for your teeth are low in sugar and high in nutrients. Essentially, food that is good for your body is also good for your teeth.
Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, nutrients, and minerals are excellent for your dental health. Add healthy amounts of dairy and fish to your diet as well to ensure that you are getting enough calcium and antioxidants to fight tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel.
As you add tooth-friendly foods to your diet, be sure to avoid substances that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Choose water and unsweetened teas and coffee over sugary drinks, and stay away from hard candies and highly processed foods. If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao can help to build tooth strength.
Always remember to drink plenty of water to keep the mouth clean and free of harmful bacteria.
Foods for Good Teeth
We all know that avoiding sugary foods and drinks is good for our physical health, but did you know that it is also important to avoid these foods in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease? What you eat directly impacts your teeth, explains the American Dental Association (ADA).
Your mouth is the first point of contact for all nutrients — good and bad — that enter your body. Signs of poor nutrition usually appear in your mouth before they show anywhere else.
We’ve outlined 10 foods that support dental health:
Green Tea and Black Tea
Food Groups That Support Healthy Teeth
In addition to specific foods that are good for your teeth, there are certain food groups that are known to support oral health. Consuming nutrients that feed the good bacteria in your mouth and protect tooth enamel against decay is essential, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center.
These foods fight plaque buildup and tooth decay:
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber act as natural toothbrushes. They clean the teeth as well as produce saliva that rinses away bad bacteria. Your saliva also contains traces of calcium and phosphate, which bring minerals to the teeth.
- Dairy products: In addition to yogurt and cheese, many other dairy products contain calcium and phosphate. These nutrients restore minerals to your teeth and rebuild tooth enamel.
- Foods with fluoride: Any product made with fluorinated water, such as juices, soups, cereals, and poultry products are good sources of fluoride. Water with fluoride is a strong protector against tooth decay.
Together with proper dental hygiene, regularly including foods from the above categories supports a healthy mouth. The goal is to reduce the amount of sugars, starches, and bacteria that sit in your mouth. Consume foods and drinks that help to rinse away bad bacteria and enhance the overall health of your teeth.
Foods to Avoid
Now that you know which foods to focus on to promote healthy teeth, it is worth mentioning what to avoid. In general, foods that are low in nutritional value and high in sugar are harmful to your physical, mental, and oral health.
The following foods and drinks can harm your dental health, according to the ADA:
- Hard or sticky candies
- Cookies, cakes, and muffins
- Soda, lemonade, and juice
- Sweetened coffee or tea
- Dried fruits
In addition, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits can damage tooth enamel. It is best to eat them as part of a meal rather than alone.
Diet & the Health of Your Teeth
We all know that we are what we eat, and this extends to the health of our teeth. Consuming a diet that is high in fibrous fruits and vegetables, calcium, and protein, and low in processed sugary foods is one of the simplest ways to promote oral health.
Drink lots of water to support healthy teeth. Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest and best things you can do to prevent cavities, explains the ADA. Water keeps your mouth clean, contains zero sugar, fights dry mouth, and has no calories.
Protecting your teeth doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Make smart choices about what you put into your body and your teeth will thank you.
7 Foods for Healthy Teeth. Orthodontics Australia.
Healthy Goods List: Seven Best Foods for Your Teeth. Colgate.
Nutrition: What You Eat Affects Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy: American Dental Association.
The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth. University of Rochester Medical Center.