Eat Your Way to A Healthy Smile

We all know that brushing, flossing, and making regular trips to your local dentist is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and your gums free of disease. But, did you know that having healthy teeth hinges on what you eat more than anything else? At our Jacksonville office we love educating our patients on the importance of whole body wellness and how it is inextricably linked to oral wellness. A healthy diet can strengthen your teeth from within, better than any toothpaste or mouthwash. In fact, there are many different foods that are proving to be extremely helpful when it comes to keeping your smile gleaming!

Why Food Matters

The food you eat is extremely important to your body. It gives you the nourishment you need to live. On a cellular level, the food you eat nourishes your cells and enables them to replicate properly. This process creates strong tissues that are ready to fight against diseases by bolstering your immune system. Further, healthy food is often void of the sugars and acids harmful bacteria love to feed on. Feeding your body delicious, nutritious foods can actually help your teeth become stronger from the inside.  A few new studies have pinpointed a few of your favorite foods and found that they are amazing for your oral health as well.


Pomegranates are well known to contain free radical fighting antioxidants and to be an abundant source of vitamins C and E. They have also proven to increase the amount of oxygen sent to the heart, promote healthy circulation, and to reduce blood clotting. These seedy wonder fruits also harness powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help tremendously with breaking down the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay and inflammation that leads to gum disease. Adding pomegranates into a mouth-healthy diet is easy because many juices are available for purchase. It is very important, however, that you choose one comprised of 100 percent juice and not filled with excess sugar that promotes the growth of the same bacteria you’re aiming to eliminate.

span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Tea

Both Black and Green teas are warming pick me ups that can help provide tooth-healthy benefits as well. Along with small amounts of caffeine, tea has been found to contain compounds that fight the disease-causing bacteria Lactobacillus and Streptococcus mutans by limiting the amount of acid these bacteria feed on. Green tea specifically has also been proven to reduce the symptoms of periodontal disease because of a specific antioxidant, catechin.  Researchers suggest drinking three cups of green or black tea every day to prevent tooth decay and promote periodontal health. Switching out your morning coffee for a steaming cup of green or black tea can help your body ward off gum disease long after your morning brush.


Chocolate is touted as a super food and super villain nearly every day, but it’s all for good reason. The sugar added to commercial chocolates enables the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease, however chocolate in it’s raw form, cacao, is one of the most powerful foods we can consume. Once extract from pure cacao, called Rennou, is being studied by scientists at the Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. They found that rennou Worked better than fluoride is remineralizing and reducing sensitivity in teeth. Simply by switching to a toothpaste that contained rennou, Theodent, participants in the study reported dentinal tubules repaired and remineralized, alleviating sensitivity in just one week. You will never be able to strengthen your teeth by eating candy bars; however, using the power of cacao to clean your teeth can certainly be a part of your oral health routine.


It is no surprise to anyone that dairy products are one of the most important types of food you can consume for bone health. Dairy contains high concentrations of minerals that work to keep your bones and as an extension your teeth strong. Drinking milk or eating cheese and yogurt can help you consume your daily recommended dose of calcium and phosphorous. Dairy also contains an incredible protein called casein that builds a protective barrier on tooth enamel that resists bacterial acids that cause tooth decay. Dairy is already a major part of most people’s diet, so pat yourself on the back next time you reach for that cup of yogurt, you’re protecting your teeth and making a healthy choice at the same time.
If you want strong teeth that resist decay, and disease give them what they need and eat a healthy diet. Providing your body what it needs with the foods it needs can have a massive effect on both your oral and total health. Coupled with brushing, flossing, and regular trips to see Dr. Shields in her Jacksonville office, you’re well on your way to the strongest smile of your life. If you have questions on how to best care for your teeth and body with beneficial foods, schedule an appointment today. We can’t wait to see you and help you care for your beautiful smile.


Contact us

Smiles by Shields
3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217