Most people know which foods are good and bad for their teeth. But did you know some foods are especially good for your dental health?

Here are some foods to prevent cavities that you can find at any grocery store.

Foods rich in calcium and protein

Milk and other dairy products are a primary source of calcium, which strengthens and repairs tooth enamel. Dairy products, especially cheese, also contain proteins that help maintain and repair tooth enamel.1

Foods rich in vitamin A

Several meats and vegetables provide high amounts of vitamin A that helps form healthy teeth and gums.2 Meats include beef liver, salmon and tuna. Vegetables include sweet potatoes, carrots and sweet red peppers.3

Foods rich in vitamin C

Citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach are all good sources of vitamin C, which promotes gum health.4 But have your child drink water after eating acidic fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons. Even natural acid can be hard on tooth enamel.5

Foods that increase the flow of saliva

Most fresh fruits and vegetables require a lot of chewing, which produces saliva that washes away the bacteria that produces plaque.6 Chewing sugar free gum after a meal can also create extra saliva to wash away food and other debris.7

Foods that clean teeth and gums

Fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, carrots and celery can help clean teeth and gums. Chewing the fibers can scrape food off teeth and also stimulate your gums, which increases saliva flow as well.8

Tooth-healthy foods can help prevent cavities

Eating the right foods, along with brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist, can stop cavities before they start. For more tips, explore how to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Learn about dental plans with Humana

Humana offers a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

Sources

  1. “Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth,” Health.com, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.health.com/condition/oral-health/best-and-worst-foods-for-your-teeth?slide=2c5c0391-8220-4b7d-8418-ec8f7ad0931f#2c5c0391-8220-4b7d-8418-ec8f7ad0931f, opens new window.
  2. “Vitamin A,” MedlinePlus, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002400.htm, opens new window.
  3. “20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin A,” Healthline, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-a, opens new window.
  4. “Healthy Nutrition for Healthy Teeth,” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/healthy-nutrition-for-healthy-teeth, opens new window.
  5. “The 8 Worst Foods for Your Teeth,” Healthline, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/worst-foods-for-your-teeth, opens new window.
  6. “How to Remove Plaque and Tartar,” Healthline, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/tartar-removal#more-tips-and-tools, opens new window.
  7. “Chewing Gum to Prevent Cavities,” American Dental Association, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/chewing-gum, opens new window.
  8. “Eat Fruits and Veggies For A Healthy Smile,” UIC College of Dentistry, last accessed December 8, 2020, https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/healthy-foods-fruits-veggies, opens new window.