7 Best Things You Can Do for Your Teeth

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Allison Firestone on June 27, 2021
  • Man and women brushing teeth
    More Than Just Brushing and Flossing
    You know brushing and flossing are non-negotiable when it comes to your teeth, but what else can you do to maintain good dental health? Just as with the rest of your body, prevention is the best medicine. In addition to your toothbrush and floss, there are a handful of other things that keep plaque, cavities and tooth decay at bay. Follow these simple steps to give your teeth some extra TLC.
  • chewing-gum-in-wrapper
    1. Chew Sugarless Gum
    Lingering acid, which accumulates in your mouth after eating, wears down enamel and leads to tooth decay and sensitivity. Popping in a piece of sugar-free gum after eating rids your mouth of lingering food bits and increases the flow of saliva, which neutralizes and washes away that acid. In addition to cleaning things up, saliva also provides teeth with calcium and phosphate, minerals that help strengthen them. It takes just 20 minutes of chewing for these positive effects to apply.
  • seafood-risotto
    2. Add Cheese
    Cheese and other dairy products help prevent tooth decay and maintain good dental health. Cheese contains nutrients that are crucial for maintaining strong teeth: phosphorus, calcium and casein. Together, these create a protective protein film that covers the enamel on your teeth’s surface, shielding them from decay. Like sugar-free gum, cheese stimulates saliva production, keeping your mouth clean and acid under control. Sprinkle some cheese on your salad or add a slice to your sandwich to boost your oral health.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
    3. Focus on Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies
    A low fiber intake has been linked to an increased likelihood of tooth loss later in life. Keep your teeth firmly rooted by regularly consuming fiber-rich fruits and veggies, like raspberries and artichokes. Their natural sugars and starches stimulate saliva, neutralizing acid and enzymes that break down teeth, and defend against cavities. These foods also restore minerals to worn-away areas of your teeth and generally keep your mouth clean, so stock up next time you’re in the produce section.
  • Green Tea
    4. Drink Tea
    Black and green teas contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that bolster your dental health. Taking in tea has been linked to decreased plaque buildup on your teeth—keeping them clean, strong, and less prone to cavities—and they also help prevent bad breath. Long term, regular intake of green and black tea is known to help protect against oral cancer, too. So get the most out of your caffeine boost by brewing one of these potent teas. Rinse or brush after enjoying that cup of tea to prevent teeth discoloration.
  • capsule-pills
    5. Add Supplements
    Just like with your bones, vitamin D and calcium keep teeth strong. Getting your daily dose improves tooth retention and decreases the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay. One study showed that adults who took calcium and vitamin D supplements were 40% less likely to lose their teeth, even two years after the study ended. Make it a priority to swallow 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D each day to reap these nutrients’ benefits.
  • hand-pouring-mouth-wash-into-cup
    6. Use Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse
    A mouthwash is antimicrobial when it contains ingredients that kill and prevent the growth of bacteria on and around teeth. Adding this type of rinse into your morning-and-night routine is known to reduce plaque buildup—a thin film of bacteria that forms on your teeth—which leads to decay. Regular use of a mouthwash also keeps your breath fresh. Look for one with an American Dental Association (ADA) seal on it, such as Listerine or Tom’s of Maine.
  • Candy store
    7. Avoid These Harsh Habits
    Keeping healthy teeth also means steering clear of damaging foods and activities. The following could be sneakily sabotaging your enamel:

    • Sour candies: Just because they’re not sweet, doesn’t mean they’re not harmful. Sour candy has a low pH, which erodes teeth.

    • Diet soft drinks: These are highly acidic, weakening enamel and paving the way for decay.

    • Opening things with your teeth: Enamel may be the hardest substance in the body, but it can still chip and break, and it never grows back.

7 Best Things You Can Do for Your Teeth
Allison Firestone
  1. Calcium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
  2. Dental Health. http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/sites/default/files/Dental%20Health_Printable%20PDF.pdf 
  3. Diet Soda, Fruit Juices are Also Bad for Your Teeth. http://cchealth.org/column/2014-0228-healthy-outlook.php
  4. Dietary Fiber Intake and Dental Health Status in Urban-Marignal, and Rural Communities in Central Mexico. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15359348 
  5. Green Tea: A Promising Natural Product in Oral Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22226360 
  6. Learn More About Chewing Gum. http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/chewing-g... 
  7. Learn More About Mouth Rinses. http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/mouthrins... 
  8. Other Oral Healthcare Tips. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536?pg=2
  9. Polyphenols, Oral Health and Disease: A Review http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19303186
  10. Pucker Up! The Effects of Sour Candy on Oral Health. https://www.mndental.org/files/Pucker-Up-5.pdf 
  11. The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth. http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4062
  12. The Efficacy of Antimicrobial Mouth Rinses in Oral Health Care. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9663026
  13. Vitamin D Factsheet for Health Professionals. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
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Last Review Date: 2021 Jun 27
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.