You’re often told what to stay away from to maintain good oral health (for instance, anything high in sugar), but what about foods that help you achieve a better smile?

For the record, we’re not advising that you completely stay away from sugar, but rather moderate it. We have an informative blog post about sugar, what it can do to your oral health and how to have your cake and eat it too!

But let’s talk about what you should eat. There are a lot of tasty and delicious foods out there that are not only packed with vital nutrients essential to building strong teeth and gums, but can help stimulate saliva flow, which is necessary for fighting off infections and periodontal diseases.

Leafy greens

This comes as no surprise that vegetables like spinach, kale and arugula are packed with great vitamins and nutrients for your overall health. They contain calcium, which helps build strong tooth enamel, and B vitamins, which can help fight off gum disease.


Many dairy products contain protein and calcium, which as we mentioned helps with strong teeth. But yogurt goes the extra mile with the added benefit of probiotics. These beneficial bacteria help keep the good bacteria in your mouth, crowding out the cavity-causing bacteria. Also, probiotics may help those with gastritis or acid reflux, which can cause tooth erosion if left untreated.

Fruits and veggies high in fiber

Apples and carrots are examples of foods with lots of fiber, known to help promote healthier gums and teeth. Foods like celery also act like a natural brush, gently scraping away at food particles that may linger around. Bonus: chewing also produces more saliva, which is an essential and natural part of keeping your mouth clean.

Sugar-free chewing gum

Speaking of chewing, if you need a boost of salivation production, reach for the sugar-free gum. Saliva is important for neutralizing acids, breaking down sugars, defending against tooth decay and gum disease, helping heal oral wounds, making chewing and eating easier, and more.


It’s no wonder that water is on this list, seeing how time and time again we are reminded of its endless benefits. If you need more motivation, just remember that water can help clean out debris in your mouth, aid in saliva production, and – if it contains fluoride – aid in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease.

While diet remains one of the most important factors in your oral health, so is visiting your dentist. Get more information on maintaining a beautiful smile and received a customized plan from your dentist for better oral health.

Book your next appointment with Dr. Stephen Coates and his dental team in Long Beach by scheduling online, or by calling us at 562-434-6414.