10 Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Many of the foods that are good for your teeth require a lot of chewing and boost saliva production. Unsurprisingly, whole foods are much better for your teeth than processed foods, as Steven Lin explains in The Dental Diet. These foods tend to have the highest nutrient content while avoiding ingredients that can harm teeth and gums. An advanced dental care regimen should include eating lots of the foods in the first group and limiting your intake of those in the second group.

The Best

These foods can prevent tooth decay and enhance overall dental health. Be sure to eat lots of good food for your teeth to ensure their long-term health.


Dairy is beneficial for your teeth, boosting calcium levels. Yogurt contains probiotics – beneficial bacteria that help keep out bad, cavity-causing bacteria. Plain yogurt is best for your teeth; avoid varieties that are packed with sugar. Cheddar cheese might have particular benefits for your teeth, lowering acid levels in your mouth. Milk contains Vitamin D, which helps you better absorb calcium.

Leafy Greens (and Other Veggies)

High-fiber foods like leafy greens – think spinach and kale, as well as other veggies like beans – scrub your teeth, giving them a thorough cleaning. Plus, they contain loads of calcium! But green veggies aren’t the only ones that benefit your teeth. Other foods that are high in fiber and vitamins, like apples and carrots, will give your teeth a good scrubbing and lots of key nutrients as well.

Lean Protein

Lean meat, fish, and eggs deliver protein and phosphorus to your body, protecting your teeth’s enamel.

Sweet Potatoes

The high Vitamin A content found in sweet potatoes also strengthens your enamel and helps prevent cavities. Eating foods that prevent tooth decay, like sweet potatoes, will help you avoid frequent trips to the dentist.


The calcium and protein found within almonds, along with their low sugar content, makes them another excellent food for supporting dental health. Whether you eat them as a standalone snack or mix them into a stir fry, they’ll give your teeth a boost of vital nutrients.

The Worst

Beware of the following foods that can stain your teeth or cause tooth decay. These can also be harmful for your Invisalign or regular braces if you have either.


It was obvious we’d place this in here. Both sticky candy and hard candy can wreak havoc on your teeth if you don’t eat them sparingly. Shocking, right? Chocolate is a much healthier option, especially dark chocolate with lower sugar content.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are really not that different from candy in terms of sugar content and their ability to stick to your teeth. Fresh fruits are clearly the better choice – especially crunchy ones, like apples!

Acidic Foods

Tomatoes and citrus foods have a high acid content, which can harm your teeth. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them – just eat them along with other foods instead of on their own.


Crunchy, carb-heavy foods like chips and crackers get ground into the teeth and linger there. Plus, they typically offer low nutritional content.

Sugary Drinks

Sugary soft drinks are a leading cause of high sugar intake, as the University of Rochester Medical Center points out. By bathing your teeth in liquid sugar, these kinds of drinks encourage cavities, says the ADA. Coffee and wine can also stain teeth and erode enamel.

The moral of the story? If you indulge in foods that are bad for your teeth or food that stains your teeth, try to do so sparingly. And afterward, cleanse your mouth by eating healthier foods, brushing your teeth, or chewing sugar-free gum!

Author’s Bio:

Jessica is a health fanatic, but her main focus is on oral care and the importance of keeping up to date on new treatments and groundbreaking news in dentistry. Before joining Advanced Dental Arts NYC in 2016 as the Content Marketing Manager, she enjoyed writing for various blogs, including her own, on similar oral health subjects.