Five Foods That Promote Good Oral Health

One of the best ways to fight cavities is to practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. You should also visit your dentist every six-months for a dental checkup and cleaning. Another way you can deter cavities and promote healthy gums and teeth is by eating smart.

Calcium builds strong teeth and sugar attracts harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. This means, you should eat plenty of dairy products, like cheese, and stay away from an excessive amount of sweets. What you may not realize, however, is that there are many other factors in your diet that can support good dental health.

Here are five foods you can work into your daily diet to strategically fight cavities and promote healthy gums.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in B vitamins and iron, which help keep gums healthy. According to a McMaster study, three servings a day will make you 23 percent less likely to suffer from periodontitis, an acute gum disease that causes tooth loss. Eat whole-wheat bread, oats, barley, and brown or wild rice to keep those gums of yours nice and pink.

Red Peppers

Your gums are highly sensitive to free radicals. Thus, foods rich in antioxidants such as red peppers, spinach, broccoli, and sweet potatoes protect your gum tissue and may in turn reduce your chances of developing gum disease.


Dairy products are not the only types of food that help build strong teeth. Lean meats full of phosphorus actually help your teeth rebuild enamel. Incidentally, the antioxidant beta-carotene in carrots does the same thing. If you do not like carrots, you can find the same antioxidant in other fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Poppy Seeds

While some prefer seedless buns, those annoying little granules on your sandwich actually help prevent cavities. The gritty texture of these seeds removes plaque buildup on your teeth. Use them as a garnish for your cereal, a vegetable dish, or homemade breads, and reap the natural benefits.


Drinking water instead of sugary drinks is one of the best ways to protect your teeth. Water washes away harmful bacteria, thus reducing your risk of cavities. Because celery contains so much water, this vegetable cleans your teeth in much the same way. The bonus is, eating celery also massages your gums, which increases circulation and removes bacteria from those hard-to-clean areas.

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To schedule an appointment with our South Austin dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, please call (512) 448-3131 or visit us online at