Oral Health: Boost It Naturally With These Types of Foods | Dr. Bob

This post is sponsored by our friends at Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist. All opinions are those of the author.

It’s amazing where an online rabbit hole can take you. Lately, I’ve learned about axolotls (you can see them at Zoo Miami!), the legend of Cantuña via Circle Round, and foods that boost the health of teeth and gums. Having created blog post content with Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist for the last few years that last one is definitely an occupational hazard–but I was intrigued by what I discovered and wanted to share it with you! Especially if you need a little backup in the daily flossing and toothbrushing battles 😉

What & Why

As I dove into this topic, my first questions were what and whyWhat foods are good for teeth and gums? And why? As I sifted through the information I began to notice some similarities. Many of these foods work against plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Plaque develops when sugars from carbohydrates build up on the teeth. Bacteria then feed off plaque and produce acids that attack tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. So practicing good oral hygiene and eating foods that work against this cycle are powerful tools to promote your family’s oral health. 

Here are 7 types of foods that naturally support tooth and gum health:

Fibrous Vegetables, Fruits & Nuts

Crunchy, fibrous vegetables and fruits that promote chewing are great for your teeth. Aside from having textures that naturally remove plaque from teeth, the act of chewing stimulates the gums. It also increases saliva production, which works against tooth decay by neutralizing acid-producing bacteria. Foods that fall into this category include crunchy veggies like carrots and broccoli; fruits like apples, and pears; and nuts, such as almonds. Almonds are also a natural source of calcium, which strengthens tooth enamel!

Image: A child holds a box of fresh vegetables and greens

Foods With Folate

Folate–or vitamin B9–is crucial to red blood cell formation. It reduces the risk of early neurological and spinal birth defects in early pregnancy, strengthens tooth enamel, and guards against gum disease and inflammation. Who knew?! Foods rich in folate include dark leafy vegetables (think spinach, romaine, kale, and collard greens), beans, lentils, peas, nuts, edamame, asparagus, oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries. Give this springtime berry salad recipe a try!

Omega 3s

Omega 3 fatty acids are vital sources of support for every cell of your body. They support the cardiovascular and immune systems, brain health, and have also been proven to prevent advanced gum disease and infections. Foods rich in Omega 3s include salmon, cod, sardines, flounder, freshwater trout, herring, sturgeon, and tuna

Onions and Garlic and Shiitakes, Oh My!

That onion and garlic breath might be worth it. Turns out that these natural flavor-enhancing aromatics reduce cavity-causing bacteria and gum inflammation while also preventing bad breath! Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which not only breaks down plaque but also brings balance to the immune system. Sounds like a combo that would sauté together nicely. ::chef’s kiss::

Other foods/spices with naturally occurring antibacterial properties include cinnamon and mint leaves.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins–think chicken, turkey, and fish–contain protein and phosphorus, two nutrients that promote the health and strength of teeth.

Whole Grains

Oats, brown rice, and barley are rich in B vitamins and magnesium, which promote overall oral health. Whole grains, even whole grain bread, support healthy gums and strong teeth.

Image: A girl holds a strawberry she just picked from a field

Malic Acid

I was the-other-day-years-old when I learned about the benefits of malic acid. I’d never heard of it before (I don’t think?), but it’s found in certain fruits like strawberries and apples. Malic acid–which tends to be more sour and acidic–has unique whitening properties. It’s like nature’s own teeth-whitening agent and cleaning treatment!

Eating well is so important to our overall health. And it amazes me how so many different foods have properties that promote and improve oral health! Along with practicing good oral hygiene, incorporating these 7 types of foods into your family’s diet is a great way to nourish your people and brighten their smiles from the inside out. 

Ask the Dentist

The next time your kids see the dentist, ask them about the role healthy eating plays in your child(ren)’s oral health. A good pediatric dentist will gladly support you as you look for creative ways to level up your kid’s dental health. Even as it relates to their diet.

If you are looking for a local pediatric dentist with a solid reputation, consider Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist! At his full-service boutique practice located in South Miami, Dr. Christopher Bob and his team are fully committed to providing the exceptional care your child deserves. They speak English and Spanish, and you’ll find the atmosphere of the office both professional and fun. Your kids may even be excited to go back! For questions or to schedule an appointment, you can reach Dr. Bob’s practice by phone at 305-397-8214 or via their website. Call to schedule your child(ren)’s appointment today!

Curious about other pediatric dental health topics and tips? Check out our exclusive content from Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist here.


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