Eat These 7 Foods Between Meals to Improve Your Dental Health

We all know that sweets and fizzy drinks can be tough on our teeth, but it’s not always clear which foods are good for our dental health. If you’re looking to give your teeth a boost, consider incorporating these tooth-friendly foods into your diet. They’re not just good for you—they can also help keep your smile bright and healthy!


“What’s up, Doc?” Just like Bugs Bunny, you might not need glasses to see the benefits of carrots, thanks to their high vitamin A content which is great for your eyesight. But did you know carrots are also fantastic for your teeth?

Crunching on raw carrots at the end of a meal increases saliva production, which helps reduce the risk of cavities by washing away food particles and buffering acids. This natural abrasiveness of raw carrots also helps to gently scrub your teeth, contributing to cleaner teeth and a healthier mouth.


Eating cheese could make it easier for you to “say cheese”, too, as this dairy food can help to keep your teeth in a condition worth photographing. That’s because cheese, too, can stimulate saliva production in the mouth, at least according to a theory underpinned by research.

Moreover, a study published in the journal General Dentistry in 2013 revealed that eating cheese can significantly raise the pH levels in the mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese also aid in rebuilding tooth enamel, providing a double benefit for your teeth. So, adding a piece of cheese to your diet can be a tasty way to contribute to a healthier, stronger smile.



Like cheese, yogurt is rich in calcium and protein, which are crucial for strengthening tooth enamel and promoting overall dental health. But yogurt has an added benefit—probiotics. These beneficial bacteria can help balance the microflora in your mouth by overpowering harmful bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease.

To get the most out of yogurt’s dental benefits, opt for plain, unsweetened varieties. Sugared yogurts can counteract the benefits by feeding the harmful bacteria you’re trying to keep at bay. Incorporating plain yogurt into your diet can be a delicious way to support not just your dental health, but your digestive health as well.


While sweet foods are typically a concern for dental health, apples are a notable exception. Thanks to their high fiber and water content, apples do more than just satisfy your sweet tooth—they help clean your teeth too. Chewing an apple stimulates saliva production, which “rinses” away food particles and dilutes sugars in the mouth, reducing the risk of decay.

However, it’s important to remember that apples are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. Their natural sugars and acidity can still affect your enamel, so it’s best to enjoy them as part of a meal rather than as a standalone snack. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating an apple can help wash away any remaining sugars and acids.


In July 2013, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a study highlighting the significant benefits of milk for dental health. Led by Christine D. Wu at the University of Illinois in Chicago, the research demonstrated that drinking milk could effectively reduce the acidity levels in the mouth, which is a key factor in preventing tooth decay.

“Milk neutralizes some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria,” Wu noted, as quoted by Live Science. However, she cautioned that this benefit does not extend to milk consumed with sugary cereals, as the added sugars can negate the positive effects.

Including milk in your diet, especially after consuming acidic foods or beverages, can help counteract the enamel erosion these items cause. Drinking a glass of milk during or after a meal not only contributes to stronger bones but also aids in maintaining a healthier oral environment by diluting and buffering oral acids. Opt for plain, unsweetened milk to maximize these dental benefits without the adverse effects of added sugars.


Cranberries, like raisins, are naturally sweet but come with the added benefit of unique phytochemicals that can inhibit the adhesion of plaque bacteria to the teeth. These bacteria are the primary culprits behind cavity formation. Unlike raisins, cranberries are less likely to stick to your teeth, reducing the risk of cavity formation.

Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation due to their high levels of polyphenols, which interfere with the ability of harmful bacteria to stick to teeth and gums. To gain the most dental benefits, it’s best to consume cranberries in their fresh, whole form rather than in sugary juices or dried varieties that may contain added sugars.


While you shouldn’t go as far as packing a stick of celery in place of a toothbrush in your travel bag, this veggie can scrape food particles and bacteria from your teeth as you nibble away. Celery also contains vitamin C, a contributor to teeth maintenance, says Holland & Barrett.

If you find celery a bit too bland for your taste, try pairing it with a healthy dip like hummus or almond butter instead of cream cheese. These alternatives not only enhance the flavor but also provide additional nutrients without compromising dental health. Hummus, for instance, offers a good source of protein and fiber, while almond butter brings healthy fats and vitamin E into the mix.


Maintaining a healthy smile goes beyond avoiding sweets; it’s about choosing the right foods. From carrots to cranberries, the foods discussed not only please the palate but also promote dental health. By incorporating these items into your diet, you can naturally enhance saliva production, strengthen enamel, and combat plaque. So, choose snacks and meals that are good for both your body and your teeth, and keep your smile bright and healthy.

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