Useful and harmful foods for teeth and gums: how to keep them healthy

Posted on Jun 29, 2022      150

Every year the need for dentists is only increasing, so you need to follow certain rules to save the budget. Let’s talk about what foods are good and bad for your teeth, as well as how to keep them healthy and how to brush properly.

Why do teeth deteriorate and hurt? There are several reasons:

1. The most obvious reason is mechanical exposure. A person eats breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and this causes the teeth to wear down.

2. The second most common cause is tooth decay caused by pathogenic microbes.

3. Well, and the third reason, because of which the first two appear more often - a lack of nutrients. Calcium and phosphorus are the most common.

Useful foods for your teeth

Although the enamel is the strongest tissue of our body, repeated exposure to harmful substances can cause a serious blow to such protection.

Especially nowadays, many products have a composition that enamel is not ready to face. Therefore, even despite its reliability, it needs to be protected. Let’s find out what products are good for teeth and gums?

Dairy products

What foods should you eat more often to strengthen your teeth? First of all, it is dairy products. They contain a lot of calcium, phosphorus, casein. The latter keeps the first two components and builds into the plaque surrounding the teeth and increases the concentration of phosphorus and calcium in this plaque.

Calcium is the basic “building material” for human bones and teeth. Casein protein can also form a protective film on teeth and provide protection against cavities.

  • Bacteria living on tooth enamel produce acid that leaches phosphorus and calcium from the tooth. Later, tooth decay appears and destroys the tooth. Dairy products neutralize this unfortunate acid, strengthening the teeth.
  • In addition, dairy products have vitamin A, which ensures the health of teeth and activates the immune system. Dairy products also have vitamin D, which promotes the full absorption of calcium and its penetration into the cells of tissues.
  • Yogurt, preferably without sugar, according to research by Japanese scientists, kills bacteria that cause bad breath and reduces the formation of plaque. The vitamins and trace minerals in dairy products help maintain healthy gums and tooth enamel.
  • Hard cheeses. According to research, hard cheeses help to mechanically clean the tooth surface and also contain large amounts of calcium and phosphates, which are good for tooth enamel.
  • Dairy cereals are good for the body and can also be good for dental health. But the downside is that they are a viscous substance that coats and adheres to the teeth. Its residue in the mouth contributes to the development of tooth decay, especially children are susceptible to it. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth after eating such a meal.

In the Land of the Rising Sun, clinical studies were conducted with people aged 40 to 79 years. In these studies, Japanese scientists concluded that regular consumption of dairy products reduces the risk of dental and gum disease.

Dairy products can be good for your teeth if they do not contain sugar.


This wonderful product cleanses the teeth. It’s good for your teeth, as proven by English scientists at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. According to their data, celery requires careful chewing (the vegetable is rich in insoluble coarse fiber), which allows you to remove plaque and bacteria from the most inaccessible places.

In addition, a considerable amount of saliva is secreted during chewing, which has a bactericidal effect.


The fruits of this plant are rich in vitamin C. If you don’t get enough of it, you may develop scurvy, which can cause bleeding gums. If there is a lack of vitamin C, the blood vessels in the jaw become brittle and easily damaged.

Remember that high temperatures destroy vitamin C. Therefore, it is better not to subject this product to heat treatment.

Green Tea

The catechins in green tea are deadly for bacteria, commonly called the caries monster. And what prevents cavities is good for your teeth.


This vegetable is rich in phytoncides - natural bacteria killers. Unpleasant odor is not so bad, you can get rid of it by chewing a sprig of parsley or a menthol tablet.


Yes, this product can be good for your teeth too. U.S. scientists have found elements in chocolate that protect teeth from cavities. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that cocoa powder, which was added to food animals, did not cause tooth decay. Rather, it slowed the development of the disease.

Two groups of animals were given foods that were harmful to the teeth, but one group was given cocoa powder. The animals that consumed the cocoa powder periodically slowed the development of tooth decay. It turned out that cocoa butter covers the teeth with a protective film. In addition, cocoa beans contain flavonoids and polyphenols, which have an antibacterial effect and stop the appearance of plaque.

Later, a scientist from Tulane University in New Orleans made another discovery. The extract of cocoa powder, kaobromine, strengthens tooth enamel. We can conclude that chocolate, preferably natural chocolate with high cocoa content, is good for teeth and gums.

But don’t overdo it with chocolate. Remember that most chocolate from the store contains a lot of sugar, which is not good for the mouth. Also, cocoa beans contain tannins and coloring agents that can change the appearance of your teeth.

It is better to eat bitter chocolate that is high in cocoa and low in sugar. Dentists and nutritionists recommend eating only 1-2 bars of chocolate a week.

Unhealthy foods for your teeth

Everyone since childhood knows that candy, cakes and other sweets spoil teeth, but it turns out that they are not the only ones. We have compiled a short list of the most dangerous products for dental health. What foods are bad for your teeth and enamel?


The sugar in candy settles on the tooth enamel and creates just a heavenly environment for the reproduction of microbes. It destroys enamel and causes your fillings and crowns to wear out faster.

Many people consider chocolates the chief enemy of tooth enamel, but lollipops are clearly superior to them in terms of harmfulness. A candy is chewed and swallowed, but a lollipop fills the mouth with more and more portions of glucose in a few minutes.

In addition, the surface of the lollipop is hard, with sharp edges, which easily scratch the surface layer of enamel, and bacteria rushes there immediately.

Conclusion: you need to reduce the amount of candy you eat, or better to remove it from your diet forever.

Carbonated beverages

Carbonated beverages are extremely damaging to tooth enamel. Do you know what a pellicle is? It’s a bacterial protective film that saliva forms on the surface of your teeth throughout the day. Not only do carbonated beverages destroy this film, but the sugars in the beverage help feed harmful enamel-damaging microflora.

Doesn’t brush destroy the pellicle? It does, but in this case, the acids don’t affect the bare enamel, but they do with carbonated beverages.

If you want to see how carbonated beverages affects the protective layer, you can experiment. First, lick the outside of your teeth with your tongue and note the condition of your teeth’s surface. Then drink a glass of carbonated beverages (less than you can drink) and try licking the outside of your teeth again. Notice any changes? The surface will change from rough to smooth in a few seconds, and that’s not helpful at all.

It’s best to give up these unhealthy drinks. But if you’re not ready to switch to less dangerous drinks just yet, get in the habit of rinsing your mouth with plain water after drinking soda to remove dangerous acid and sugar from your teeth.

Crunchy foods.

How often have you heard that chips and crisps are bad for your health? It’s true, they also have significant negative effects on your teeth.

Crispy, hard foods can cause irreparable damage to your teeth. Chewing them causes small cracks, chips and scratches on your teeth, which can collect dangerous bacteria.

Muesli candy bars also fall into this category. The enormous dose of sugar, sticky base, and ground nuts not only get stuck between teeth, but often have a negative effect on the fillings that are in place.

Raspberries, blueberries, currants, and strawberries

On the face, these berries are harmless and useful, but despite that, they carry a hidden danger. Their acids literally corrode the enamel, and natural dyes can cause its darkening. And the tiny seeds of raspberries or strawberries can get stuck in your teeth, thus turning into a breeding ground for germs.

What conclusion can be drawn from this? Be sure to rinse your mouth after a berry feast.

Dried fruits

How often have you heard about how your teeth hurt from dried fruit? It would seem that dried fruit is also harmless, just like the previous member of our rating. But when consumed in excess, this product is harmful to the teeth.

Besides the fact that they, like candy, have a lot of sugar, dried fruit is very difficult to chew. Leftovers get stuck between the teeth and are a great breeding ground for bacteria.

Sour juices and fruits

Another enemy of enamel is acid. Sour fruits and juices are very abundant. Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, sour berries and apples and their juices all just exude sourness and eat away at your tooth enamel. Remember the feeling of your teeth “popping” after a sour? That’s when the enamel experiences the most damage.

Some people think that drinking juice through a straw is the best way to avoid harm. Alas, even then some of the acid will get on your teeth. Therefore, as in the case with soda, rinse your mouth well with water after drinking it.

There is no need to go to extremes and give up fruit altogether. You just need to either reduce their amount, or immediately after drinking sour fruit, rinse your mouth with water. The same applies to concentrated juices. Keeping these rules in mind can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems.

Foods that stain your teeth

Discoloration is another unpleasant aftertaste of some foods. Tea or coffee? The correct answer to this question is water. Coffee and strong tea are the ones most often blamed for darkening enamel-they contain natural coloring agents that can soak into the enamel structure, discoloring it.

Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking one of these drinks. Or, as with juices, drink these drinks through a straw so that the liquid touches the surface of your teeth as little as possible. Coffee also flushes out calcium, which is so important for good health. This is very important for the health of your teeth.

Also, do not benefit from berries with a strong enamel coloring, such as blackcurrant or black chokeberry. They contain many useful vitamins, but because of the impact on the teeth, it is better to eat berries in small doses, without abuse.


The most common marinade contains vinegar, and it has a seriously damaging effect.

If you eat pickled vegetables too often, you may experience unpleasant symptoms as increased sensitivity, discoloration of enamel, small chips, in place of which in the future may “burn” tooth decay.

Berry jam with small pips

Another product harmful to the teeth. Not only do berries taste sour, but they contain a lot of enamel-damaging acid. Not only are they rich in coloring pigment, but it takes a lot of sugar to neutralize that sourness.

The third negative factor is small but dense seeds that clog between the teeth and can severely scratch the surface layer of enamel.

Red wine

Red wine contains substances that are good for the body (such as polyphenols). But it is these substances that are the enemies for enamel - teeth can darken.

In addition, many people are probably familiar with a dry mouth after a party. This condition often occurs because your mouth changes its acid-alkaline balance, which is not good for your teeth.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

It is unnecessary to exclude these foods from consumption at all, but you should think about reducing their quantity. To avoid damaging your enamel during meals, you need to follow a few rules.

1. Rinse your mouth well after each meal. You can use a mouthwash or you can rinse with plain water. Some dentists recommend brushing your teeth after every snack, but most experts agree it can do more harm to your enamel than good.

2. It is advisable to avoid snacking. Nutritionists believe that eating too often depletes insulin reserves and impairs tissue sensitivity to insulin. Dentists have their own motivations: enamel is exposed to additional stress every time, and pieces of food stuck between the teeth contribute to the development of cavities.

3. Learn to live without sugary drinks (cola, juice, morsels, kissel), each of them has enough acid and dye and more than enough glucose. The healthiest way to quench your thirst is to drink a glass of plain water.

4. Do without chewing gum. No matter how much advertising would convince us, gum contains a lot of sugar, and even if it helps to get rid of food stuck between the teeth, it still creates conditions for the rapid multiplication of bacteria.

5. The habit of finishing each meal with dessert is bad for your figure and tooth enamel. Give up at least half of what you eat and your teeth will be grateful.

In order to reduce the risks, try to combine unhealthy foods with healthy ones. For example, red wine is better to consume with cheese - it contains calcium, which is good for your teeth. And don’t forget to visit the dentist at least once a year. Then your teeth will always be healthy and your smile will always be white.

Brushing your teeth is good for your heart. Brush your teeth for at least 3 minutes twice a day, scientists urge. The fact is that the bacteria accumulated in the mouth enter the bloodstream and cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.

It’s no coincidence that those who practice good oral hygiene have heart attacks 10% less often than those who don’t brush their teeth as often as they should.

How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

Ruthless up-and-down brushing is the most common mistake when brushing your teeth. Many people believe that the more fiercely they brush, the more effective the result will be. It turns out that with this method of brushing, there is a risk not only of traumatizing the gum but also of getting plaque between the teeth far under the gums.

Dentists follow the rule that teeth must be cleaned in the base's direction of the gum to the tip of the tooth. Chewing teeth is usually done in a circular motion, but for a thorough cleaning of hard-to-reach areas, use an irrigator or dental floss.

An irrigator is a special device that can wash away bacteria, even from hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, with a jet of water or medication. Liquid for irrigation under pressure is fed into the oral cavity, massaging the gums, improves blood circulation, cleans interdental spaces and gum pockets of plaque and food debris.

Don’t forget that you should replace your brush at least every 3 months. A new toothbrush removes 30% more plaque than an old one. It is advisable to brush your teeth thoroughly and for about 3 minutes. It is advisable to rinse your mouth with plain water after each meal.


Teg:   tooth  enamel