What to Feed Your Teeth

We all know good nutrition is important to living a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that our teeth do more with food than just chew it? Our teeth require nutrients to stay healthy and grow — just like the rest of our bones — so adding these foods into your diet will keep your smile healthy and bright. And as an added bonus: they taste delicious too! Dr. William Harper, an experienced dentist of Newport News, VA would like to give you some tips about which foods will help your teeth stay strong and healthy.


Cheese, being rich in calcium like most dairy products, promotes strong and healthy bones. Our bodies need calcium to help strengthen our bones and tooth enamel. Because our bodies cannot produce their own calcium — it’s a mineral that we can only get by eating or drinking it — and because quickly lose the calcium we take in, snacking on cheese is a good way to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.


Too many carbohydrates, starches, and sugary foods in your diet can cause erosion of your tooth enamel due to acids they leave in our mouths. Instead, to satisfy your sweet tooth, pick up a crisp, juicy apple. Vitamin C, which apples are rich in, helps reduce inflammation. Those individuals with inflamed gums can benefit from extra vitamin C in their diets. And many other food are rich in vitamin C, including broccoli, oranges, and green peppers.


Even if you are consuming plenty of calcium every day, your body is not able to absorb it without Vitamin D. Eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as tuna, salmon and other fish, helps your body to absorb the calcium it needs to build those strong teeth and bones. Another excellent source of vitamin D is free and easy to obtain: the rays of the sun! Getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your skin, hair, nails, teeth, and more!


Whole grains such as those found in some oatmeals can improve heart health. Eating oatmeal for breakfast, as part of a healthy diet, can help your gums stay healthy too. However, most pre-packaged artificially-flavored packets of oatmeal are loaded with sugar. Eating too much sugar will feed the oral bacteria that destroy your precious tooth enamel. To keep the sugar down, try making your own plain oats and add in some berries and/or cinnamon for sweetness.  

Eating these tasty, healthy foods will not only improve your dental health, but help your entire body more healthy as well. Make sure you’re having your teeth examined regularly as part of your dental health routine by seeing Dr. Harper or your area dentist on a regular basis! Request an appointment online with Dr. Harper or call 757.414.7227 to schedule today!