Smile by Design - Dr. BriAnna Schraw - Fort Mill, SC
Twelve Foods for Healthy Teeth

12 Foods for Healthy Teeth and Smiles

We all know that too much sugar is bad for our teeth. But, most people probably can’t name foods that actually promote healthy teeth. Research shows these are foods that will keep you smiling.



The oils found in Basil are known to kill bacteria. Reducing bacteria levels in the mouth could reduce your risk of tooth decay. Some people suggest that it can also be used as a home teeth whitener. The catch here is that just adding basil to your recipes might not provide enough impact. You may need to crush some basil leaves into a bit of a paste and apply it with a toothbrush.

broccoli in a bowl and on a plate being served to help with healthy teeth
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Broccoli is packed with vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to maintain healthy teeth. Beyond that, a 2010 European study suggests the iron in Broccoli may help form an acid-resistant film on teeth. Uncooked Broccoli appears to help break up dental plaque on your teeth, which both makes them healthier and may make them whiter.

Carrots sitting on a table being ready to be prepared as part of improving dental health.


Not only do Carrots fight bacteria growth, but eating them may help clean your teeth and gums. They also contain lots of Vitamin A, which is important for healthy tooth enamel. Just be careful when biting into a raw carrot. Use your molars instead of your front teeth to take that bite, because carrots are hard enough that they can crack your teeth.

A cheese board with assorted types of cheeses for serving as a healthy way to improve your teeth


There is a good reason to say “Cheese” when you smile for a picture. Cheese has proven to be one of the super foods for preventing cavities. The calcium in cheese helps prevent demineralization caused by plaque and the fat has been shown to reduce bacteria. A 2013 study showed eating cheese reduced acid levels in the mouth (something milk and yogurt did not). The old after-dinner cheeseboard may have been more useful than most people would have thought.

Ginger is one of the foods that is considered good for good oral health


Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that support healthy tissue throughout your mouth and the rest of your body. It can also be beneficial in reducing tooth damage from acid reflux. And researchers in South Korea have shown that a compound in ginger actually prevents the formation of biofilms (like plaque on your teeth).

Green Tea in a cup sitting on a wooden table. Green Tea kills bacteria that cause cavities.

Green tea

You have to watch the sugar in bottled versions, but green tea can kill bacteria in your mouth that can lead to gingivitis and bad breath. An Indian study suggests green tea helps reduce inflammation from gum disease, which may help in curing it. Green tea is also recognized for many additional health benefits.

One whole and one half onion.


Raw Onions contain compounds that fight bacteria. Sorry, cooked onion rings are not a substitute.

orange juice in a glass surrounded by oranges. Acidic, but healthy for your teeth in moderation.

Orange Juice

Orange Juice is a tricky one when it comes to your smile. Orange Juice is acidic, which is never good for tooth enamel. However, there’s a benefit that makes it good for your overall smile. The vitamin C in Oranges and Orange Juice is a collagen builder, which helps your gums and your facial skin stay healthy. So while you have to be careful about its impact on your teeth, it will help your facial skin and gums look better.

cooked salmon on a plate with a healthy salad. A good meal for oral health.


Salmon and other fatty fish, like albacore tuna, are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which studies suggest could cut your risk of gingivitis by 20%. A 2010 study showed that DHA and EPA in the fish oil appear to help protect your gums from disease and may even help cure gum disease.

container of mushrooms on the table ready to stop bacteria growth in your mouth

Shiitake mushrooms

This variety of mushrooms contains a type of natural sugar called Lentinan that can reduce bacteria growth in your mouth. Research suggests that rinsing with shiitake oil extract may be more beneficial than just eating the mushrooms because the antimicrobial effect needs time to work. Shiitake mushrooms are also helpful for preventing gum disease.

Strawberries for Healthy Gums


Not only do they taste great, but Strawberries are high in fiber and Vitamin C so they promote healthy gums. There’s also some early research that suggests strawberries may help prevent oral cancer, particularly in smokers.

Wasabi fights mouth bacteria


This spicy sauce contains compounds, which, like many other foods listed here, help fight bacteria growth in the mouth. This link has been around for a while, with the idea of Wasabi toothpaste first being floated in 2000.

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