The Role of Nutrition in Dental Health

The Role of Nutrition in Dental Health

Your diet plays an integral role in protecting oral health. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and calcium-rich foods is key for protecting against tooth decay and gum disease.

As such, chewing raw fruits and veggies like apples, pears, carrots and celery stimulate saliva flow to wash away food particles, while providing essential calcium, phosphorous and vitamin C needed for strong teeth and healthy gums.


Calcium helps form and sustain strong, hard calcified tissue which supports gums and jaw bones. You can get calcium through dairy foods like milk and cheese or from other sources like leafy greens, fortified soy drinks, canned salmon/sardines/almonds.

Diets rich in whole, nutrient-rich foods can greatly benefit oral health. Most dental issues stem from excess sugar and food particles that lead to plaque build-up containing bacteria that promote tooth decay.

Diet is one of the key components to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, particularly by restricting sugar- and acid-rich beverages like soda, candy, fruit juice and sports drinks that contain too much acidic sugars such as soda. Crunchy fruits such as apples and pears help stimulate saliva flow which can wash away food particles from teeth while neutralizing acids that lead to tooth decay. Protein-rich foods (lean meats, skinless poultry fish tofu and olive oil as well as healthy fats like salmon oil or canola oil or salmon oil) also help maintain oral health by decreasing harmful bacteria growth on teeth surfaces.


Calcium and phosphorus both play essential roles in the development of bones and teeth. Together they form hydroxyapatite – the main mineral constituents of tooth enamel and bone tissue.

Phosphorus can be found in protein-rich foods like beef, pork, chicken and eggs as well as seafood such as scallops, sardines, cod fish, shrimp and salmon. Vegan diets also can include adequate phosphorus through legumes and nuts.

Sugar and carb-rich foods stick to teeth and become food for bacteria, leading to plaque build-up and eventually tooth decay. Reducing these foods and drinking plenty of fluoridated water, herbal tea and unsweetened coffee is beneficial to overall oral health. Furthermore, unexplained muscle weakness could indicate abnormal phosphorus levels that lead to bone issues like osteoporosis as well as increasing fracture risks – while diarrhea or vomiting disrupting normal phosphorus balance could pose similar threats.


A nutritious diet helps the mouth maintain a balanced oral microbiome, protecting teeth from harmful bacteria that cause cavities or gum disease, while poor nutrition can result in an imbalanced microbiome – potentially leading to gum disease or even tooth loss.

Consuming foods rich in nutrients such as cheese, dairy products, yogurt, leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish meat and eggs helps strengthen enamel for long-term dental health. Nutrients are more efficiently absorbed when taken as whole foods than through supplements; so for optimal oral health it’s best to get most of your vitamins and minerals through whole natural sources like food.

Meats contain calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus – key ingredients in helping reduce acidity that damages teeth. Chewing stimulates saliva production which in turn washes away food particles while relieving acidity levels that threaten tooth enamel damage. Eggs provide both protein and phosphorus while fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which may reduce gum inflammation. For optimal health choose lean beef, skinless poultry or fish over processed meats which contain high levels of fats.


Calcium and phosphorous minerals make up the hard, protective surfaces of teeth and bones, working in combination with each other to remineralize enamel that has been damaged by acids from food and drinks. Foods rich in both calcium and phosphorous include milk, yogurt, cheese, canned salmon, dark leafy green vegetables, almonds and Brazil nuts – among many others. Eating nutritious snacks such as milk yogurt cheese canned salmon almonds Brazil nuts helps ensure healthy teeth. Chewing crunchy foods stimulates saliva production which works together with water to remove bacteria which help combat plaque-causing bacteria build-up on plaque-causing bacteria from plaque causing bacteria build-up on surface areas of enamel surface areas of tooth surface areas.

Hudsonville Pediatric Dentists suggest eating a varied, healthful diet with plenty of fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Families should consume foods from each of the five major food groups, while limiting processed sweets, soda, candy and other sugary snacks such as processed sweets. Vitamin C-rich strawberries and citrus fruits, fortified dairy products as well as vitamin-fortified cereal products all aid oral health.

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