The Best & Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Believe me, I understand!  We are already concerned about food’s effects on our bodies as far as calorie intake and saturated fat and sugar content and all sorts of things!  Why am I stressing you out more about food!

Well trust me when I say we have the best of intentions, and remember, a healthy mouth is a healthy body!  And fortunately for us, it’s not too much to remember.  Certain foods do really terrible things to our teeth, however, there are ways to treat it and prevent it.  And there are also foods that are great for our teeth, which we want you to consider when you’re choosing your meals.

The Best Foods

Crunchy Fruits & Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables that require a lot of chewing (celery, apples, carrots) and provide a good crunch are great for your teeth because chewing more creates more saliva.  Saliva is necessary to fight bad bacteria in your mouth.  The more saliva (without the drool) the better.  These foods create more saliva.

Not only that, the crunch of the food will also remove leftover food and bacteria left on your teeth and sort of scrub your teeth.  Imagine that!  A cleaning and a snack!

High Fiber

Eating high fiber foods also creates more saliva, which as we know fights bad bacteria that causes tooth decay and cavities.  Fiber is good for your overall health, so eating plenty of it is only going to benefit you.  Some yummy high fiber foods include raisins, bananas, oranges, and almonds.  You can make a pretty great granola with just those ingredients!

High Calcium Dairy

Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are great for your teeth because they have a high source of calcium.  Cheese in particular is great because it also generates saliva.  If you remember the Does a Body Good ads, then you know that milk and other high calcium foods are good for strong bones.  While teeth are not bones, they still need calcium, similar to bones, to help put back minerals your teeth might have lost due to other foods.  Including a good amount of calcium in your diet is pertinent to maintaining healthy and strong teeth.

Foods with Fluoride

A good toothpaste has a good amount of fluoride, and this is because fluoride helps fight plaque and tartar.  Therefore, consuming food and drinks with fluoride is good for your teeth.  Fluoridated drinking water, powdered juices (that don’t contain a lot of sugar), and commercially prepared foods (poultry, seafood) have fluoride in them and are great for your teeth.

The Worst Foods

Sticky Candies

If you’re going to eat something sweet, first of all, eat it with a meal.  Give your other foods a chance to take out the leftover sugars and bacteria created from the processed sugar.  Second of all, choose a sweet that doesn’t stay too long in your mouth.  Lollipops and caramels are not too good for your teeth as they stick to your teeth and create the perfect environment for bad bacteria that causes cavities and tooth decay.  If you do decide to eat these foods, be sure your rinse or floss or even do a quick brushing of the teeth as a precaution.  We all will falter sometimes!


Any starchy foods that get stuck in your teeth should mostly be avoided, if we’re being honest.  Popcorn just happens to be the biggest culprit.  This however can easily be avoided by staying away from the foods or rinsing, flossing, or brushing after having said foods.  Another thing you can do is follow it up with a crunchy fruit or vegetable to help take out the leftover food.  The most important thing to consider however is to make sure that big chunks of food is not left behind for bacteria to fester in.

Sodas and Other Carbonated Drinks

Of course, we all know how much sugar is in soft drinks which is terrible for your teeth, but as a double whammy, most carbonated drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids.  Sugar, acid, and bacteria is the perfect equation for tooth decay, and not only that acids erode tooth enamel.  Overall, we want to do our best to stay away from these drinks.  Rinsing and brushing after helps a bit, but overall, we mostly want to stay away.  Your body will thank you later, trust me!


Too much alcohol dries out your mouth which prevents your mouth from naturally keeping away bad bacteria in your mouth.  If you’re having a night out, then it’s important when you get home you brush your teeth and are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep your mouth clean.  As well as prevent a hangover!

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Dr. Del Greenhalgh
Green Family Dental
10510 Montwood Drive
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 778-4681