The Role of Nutrition in Holistic Dentistry: How Diet Affects Dental Health

Good dental health and good nutrition go hand in hand—we explain how your diet affects your dental health.

The Role of Nutrition in Holistic Dentistry: How Diet Affects Dental Health

As holistic dentists, we know that good dental health and good nutrition go hand in hand. That’s why we take your entire lifestyle into consideration—including what you eat. In this post, we explain how your diet affects your dental health, so you can make better food choices and keep your smile bright.

Why Is Nutrition Important in Dentistry?

When you eat a diet that’s rich in essential nutrients and whole foods, it’s good for your whole body, including your teeth. On the flipside, when you eat low-quality, processed foods, your dental health will start to suffer. For example, eating an apple with almond butter is going to be much better for you than a processed granola bar. (Although granola bars may seem like a healthy option, most have a high sugar content.) 

Can Poor Nutrition Cause Tooth Decay?

Yes, absolutely! Studies show that the more processed foods you eat, the more cavities you will get. That’s because processed foods are full of the starches and sugars that cavity-causing bacteria like to eat. And the more you feed the bad bacteria, the more likely you’ll be to develop tooth decay and gum disease.

Some of the worst foods for your teeth are things like:

  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Fast food and junk food
  • Processed meats (hot dogs, chicken nuggets)
  • White bread and pasta
  • Soft drinks and candy

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat potato chips or instant ramen—you just shouldn’t eat them every day. So once in a while, instead of a lunchmeat sandwich on white bread, treat your teeth to a nice crunchy salad, a green smoothie, or some hearty lentil soup

What Are the Best Foods for Dental Health?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you get the essential vitamins and minerals you need for strong, healthy teeth and gums. Foods that are high in fiber like kale and beans, foods that are rich in antioxidants like dark chocolate and grapes, and foods that have high water content like celery and apples are all good for your dental health.

Some of the best foods for your teeth are things like:

  • Fresh herbs and leafy greens
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • Whole grains and lean proteins
  • Nuts, lentils, and beans
  • Calcium-rich foods like cheese and almond milk

Are You Getting Enough Vitamins?

Along with eating healthy foods, you might want to start taking a vitamin supplement. Vitamin deficiencies can cause problems like enamel loss, gum disease, and more. The most important vitamins for good dental health are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12, along with minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Did you know that you can fight cavities, gum disease, and bad breath just by drinking more water? Water helps wash away all the things that are bad for your teeth, like sugar, food debris, and bacteria. It also helps restore a neutral pH balance to your saliva, eliminating the acids that erode your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. Drinking water can even help remineralize your tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. So rather than drinking another coffee, soda, or beer, reach for a glass of water instead.

Holistic Dentistry in Prescott, Arizona

Now that you understand more about how diet affects dental health, we hope you’ll start making better choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating the right foods will keep your whole body healthy, and give you stronger, healthier teeth, too. But don’t forget that you also need a dental checkup every six months. If you’re due for an exam and cleaning, contact Prescott Dentistry to make an appointment today. 


Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 5/10/2024.