Top Foods for Maintaining a Healthy Smile

Fresh green salad with spinach,arugula,romane and lettuce

We all want to look our best. Our smile is a key factor as to how we present to society. “When we smile, the whole world smiles back at you”. Proper nutrition and eating the right foods and avoiding the bad ones can enhance our smiles and overall health. Coupled with a healthy diet, there are some basics that must be observed.

The Basics

  1. Brush teeth 2x daily for a period of two minutes each time. 
  2. Use a small head, soft bristle toothbrush, or an electric brush like Sonicare. 
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste that has a low abrasion level and long store shelf life like Sensodyne. 
  4. Use a non-alcoholic fluoride rinse like Act or Listerine Zero.
  5. Floss your teeth 1X daily before going to sleep. A product we like is Glide floss.
  6. Do NOT eat foods with high sugar content ( candy, soda).
  7. Drink fluoridated water (12-15 cups of fluid per day). 
  8. Visit 172 NYC Dental for check-ups and cleaning 2X yearly. 

The Effect Of PH On Our Teeth

  • PH determines whether the environment is acidic or alkaline. 
  • In general, foods with a low PH (acidic) will dissolve enamel and make teeth look pale and dirty.
  • In general, foods with PH over 7 are alkaline. These foods usually make the teeth look brighter. Here are a few examples of alkaline foods:
    • Vegetables: Broccoli and carrots
    • Fruits: Oranges, apples, and berries
    • Nuts: Walnuts and almonds
    • Seeds: Pumpkin and flax
  • Uncooked, unprocessed foods contain all the original nutrients and provide massage and stimulation to gums and teeth to help them be stronger. 

Our Fifteen Favorite Foods for a Brighter Smile

  1. Apples: Malic acid in apples increases saliva flow, thus removing bad bacteria lying around teeth. The fibrous nature of the fruit is also good for the gums
  2. Carrots: Increase saliva flow and need more force to chew thus stimulating gum and bone to neutralize acids in the mouth. 
  3. Cheese: Provides Calcium, Phosphorus, and protein to the enamel of the tooth. 
  4. Strawberries: Provide antioxidants via polyphenols that decrease bad bacteria in the mouth and contain ascorbic acid (very weak acid)  that has a brightening effect on enamel. 
  5. Spinach: Provides Magnesium that strengthens enamel. Also contains Iron that tends to polish the teeth, remove stains and decrease the effect of acids on enamel erosion. 
  6. Raisins (fresh or sugar-free): Increase saliva flow thus ridding us of bad bacteria, and they neutralize acids in the mouth. Additionally, they contain Oleanolic Acid which inhibits bacteria like Streptococcus Mutans (which causes decay) and Porphynomonas Gingivalis cause periodontal disease.
  7. Basil: An antibacterial, Basil powder when rubbed on teeth will make them whiter. 
  8. Nuts and seeds (walnuts and flaxseed nuts) are slightly abrasive and will help remove stains and will provide Omega 3 fatty acids that prevent periodontal disease. 
  9. Yogurt: Contains probiotics which are good bacteria that replace the bad bacteria that cause cavities. 
  10. Leafy greens provide calcium to bone and enamel. 
  11. Broccoli: Provides Vitamin C and Vitamin K (helps blood clot) and maintains healthy gums. 
  12. Sweet Potatoes: Provide Vitamin A which maintains mucous membranes that make the protein Keratin that aids in enamel formation. 
  13. Garlic and Onions-provide allicin that is antibacterial. 
  14. Shiitake Mushrooms: Contain polysaccharide Lentinan that decreases bad bacteria in the mouth. 
  15. Celery: Contains Vitamins A and Vitamin C which are good for the gums. 

Further Tips

  1. Sequencing: After eating sweets, eat foods that neutralize acids such as cheese, green tea, and milk, or simply rinse your mouth with water if you cannot immediately brush your teeth. 
  2. Choose healthy snacks like nuts instead of donuts. 

Make an Appointment with 172 NYC Dental

A beautiful smile is a mosaic of our genetics, dental care, and nutrition. We at 172 NYC Dental can take care of your dental needs and guide you into a healthy nutritional lifestyle. In other words, we can make you smile. Give us a call at 646-921-5541.


About Dr. Albert Song

Dr. Song's extensive knowledge in general dentistry allows him to create and execute a variety of treatment plans based on your individual oral health needs. Dr. Song can also perform a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures, transforming the look and feel of your smile.

Questions? Contact us online or give us a call at 646-921-5541 today!
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