Bailey Martin, guest contributor

You already know there are many requirements for maintaining great oral health.  Things like brushing twice per day, flossing and rinsing are some of the common regimens one must follow everyday to keep their mouth and teeth as healthy as possible. You may have also heard that certain foods can sacrifice your oral health.  But, what about foods and drinks that can actually improve it? Read on for tips on improving the dental health of both yourself and your family at meal and snack times.


Water. Let’s start with the most obvious.  With every remedy to a condition, water is generally always recommended.  Water is also an indispensable part of an oral health regimen because it can be as effective as mouthwash at swishing away particles and residue lodged in teeth. Water also aids in keeping your gums hydrated which stimulates saliva production–the best defense against bacteria.


Cheese.  Because cheese is high in phosphate and calcium, it helps to balance the pH in your mouth. This helps to kill bacteria and preserve tooth enamel which also prevents cavities as well as gum disease.

Kiwi.  Kiwi contains the highest amount of Vitamin C among all fruits, which is vital to preserving the condition of your gums. When you lack Vitamin C, the collagen in your gums breaks down and they become tender and more susceptible to the bacteria which is responsible for causing periodontal disease.  Eat lots of kiwi (and other fruits high in Vitamin C) and you’ll be doing your mouth a big favor.

Celery.  Because celery is an extremely crunchy, mainly water-based vegetable, chewing it produces saliva, neutralizing the bacteria that causes cavities. It’s also a naturally abrasive food that massages gums & cleans between your teeth.  It removes debris from the teeth which, therefore, reduces plaque formation.

Onions.  Onions are armed with powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds, making them terrific for dental health. They are strongest and most beneficial when eaten fresh and raw. Try chewing raw onions for two minutes a day, three times per week.  This is said to kill the germs which cause bacteria and tooth decay. Onions also have healing properties which can help prevent certain oral infections.  Too bad they don’t do as much for your breath as they do for your overall dental health.

Green Tea.  If you are looking for the ultimate weapon against oral health blunders, green tea is one of the best choices. First of all, green tea is an anti-inflammatory meaning it is great at controlling periodontal (gum) disease.  Research has also shown that when individuals with precancerous mouth lesions consumed green tea, it helped to slow the progression of oral cancer. Finally, green tea kills the germs that causes bad breath and also prevents cavities and tooth loss.

Dairy.  Dairy products (without added sugar) have the potential to help your teeth in a number of different ways. It can help to stimulate saliva production, while the calcium replaces minerals leached from the teeth.  They provide your body with the right amount of nutrients needed to rebuild your teeth, keep them strong and also keep your mouth and gums healthy. Dairy products also buffer a portion of the acid formed when sugar traces are present in your mouth.  This helps strengthen teeth and forms a protective barrier.


Try incorporating a few, or all, of these teeth-friendly items into your family’s diet and see your oral health take a turn for the better.  Dental health is crucial to overall health and making subtle changes in your diet can really make a difference and prevent future health concerns. In addition, starting your children on a healthy path early can really impact their well-being from the start.


Bailey Martin blogs for Bassett Creek Dental, a Minneapolis dentist providing preventative, surgical and cosmetic dental procedures for both adults and children.