You’ve probably heard the phrase “you are what you eat” at least a thousand times. And while it’s most commonly used to describe how certain foods affect your stomach, it’s also applicable to how foods affect your teeth! 

Believe it or not, your diet has a lot to do with how healthy your smile is. So push those chewy candies, sugary sodas, and specialty coffees to the side! Below, we’ve provided a list of foods that are good for your teeth. That way, the next time you’re choosing which foods to put in your shopping cart, you can make a more health-conscious decision. 

10 Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth

There are a number of foods that are good for your teeth — and they’re all pretty yummy options, too! If you want a healthier, brighter smile, try munching on some of the following. 

1. Dairy Products

Got milk? We hope so! 

Foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt (unsweetened or low in sugar, of course!) are rich in calcium and protein — both of which are essential ingredients for maintaining strong teeth. Dairy products also help you produce more saliva and lower levels of acidity in your mouth, which make them good fighters against tooth decay. 

2. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

An apple a day keeps the dentist away! Wait, what? 

Yup! While eating crunchy fruits and veggies like apples won’t keep the dentist away forever, it can certainly reduce the frequency of your visits. This is because they generally contain a lot of water, and they increase your saliva production as you eat them. So bring on the fresh celery, carrots, pears, and more!

3. Teas

Yes, we know, tea isn’t a food — but it’s still good for your teeth!

Have you heard of polyphenols? They’re a category of chemicals that are naturally present in many foods and drinks we consume, including tea. They contain a lot of antioxidants, fight cavity-causing bacteria, and reduce inflammation in your gums. 

However, be mindful of which types of tea you choose. Unsweetened white, green, and black teas are the best, but even black teas can lead to some staining

4. Lean Proteins

Lean proteins like fish, chicken, and tofu are loaded with phosphorus — a mineral that’s critical to protecting your tooth enamel. 

More fatty, red meats can be good for your teeth too because they help you produce a lot of saliva as you chew them. However, they should be eaten in moderation, as they’re not the healthiest option for your body overall. 

5. Seafood

Fish, along with other types of seafood, contain a lot of sodium fluoride because, well, they come from an ocean that contains a lot of sodium fluoride! This fluoride source is essential in maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile. 

6. Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions may not be the best for your breath…but they are good foods for your teeth! 

Garlic contains a lot of allicin, which is a substance that has strong antimicrobial properties, meaning it can fight tooth decay and periodontal disease. And, when eaten raw, onions also have powerful antimicrobial properties that fight against pesky bacteria. So maybe it’s about time we embrace the stinky breath these foods give us!

7. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth — and depending on which one you choose, you’ll probably get a different benefit. Here’s a list of some common types of nuts, and how they affect your teeth:

  • Almonds are high in protein, calcium, and phosphorous — and low in sugar. 
  • Peanuts are high in calcium and vitamin D. 
  • Cashews stimulate saliva production.
  • Walnuts contain a variety of nutrients, such as fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and more. 

8. Eggs

Eggs are surprisingly good for your teeth, as they contain high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin D, and phosphorus. 

However, if you’ve ever been told you can repair your teeth with their shells, beware! That is an old wives’ tale, and will only lead to more damage. If you believe your tooth is damaged in any way, visit your dentist. Tooth repair is not something you can do at home. 

9. Popcorn

Popcorn (with minimal butter and salt) is a natural tooth scrubber. As you eat it, its hard, yet sponge-like texture can clean your teeth. 

However, make sure you complete your daily floss afterward, as the kernels can easily get stuck between your teeth. So, bring on the movie nights — but also bring on the floss!

9. Water

Again, we know it’s not food, but there’s truly no better thing for your teeth than water. Water prevents stains, reduces acidity, washes away food particles, increases saliva production, and lessens damage to your tooth enamel. 

Even better? Drink water that contains fluoride. As nature’s cavity fighter, drinking water with fluoride is one of the best (and easiest!) ways to prevent tooth decay. 

Get More Expert Dental Advice by Scheduling an Appointment at West Michigan Dentistry!

Looking for more ways to keep your teeth healthy? Visiting the dentist should be your first! At West Michigan Dentistry, we’re happy to help you keep your smile in the best shape possible. From regular dental visits, to what you can do to protect your teeth at home, we’ll guide you through with expert advice. Schedule an appointment with us today!