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What Fruits or Vegetables Are Good for the Teeth?

author image Maura Wolf
Maura Wolf's published online articles focus on women, children, parenting, non-traditional families, companion animals and mental health. A licensed psychotherapist since 2000, Wolf counsels individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, body image, parenting, aging and LGBTQ issues. Wolf has two Master of Arts degrees: in English, from San Francisco State University and in clinical psychology, from New College.
What Fruits or Vegetables Are Good for the Teeth?
Bushels of apples for sale at a market. Photo Credit Maria Dryfhout/iStock/Getty Images


Vegetables and fruits promote good dental health, so include them in your daily diet. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in these foods protect teeth and gums. When and how often you eat and drink certain foods and beverages affect your oral health. Bacteria in your mouth can damage your teeth, especially if you eat frequently without rinsing and brushing or you let food particles stay in your mouth. Protect your teeth by ending every meal with raw fruits and vegetables, because their high water content helps keep your teeth and gums clean.


Apples, which have been called “nature’s toothbrush,” are a good snack or lunch choice because of the fibrous texture. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, eating an apple can help clean your teeth until you can brush them properly. Apple juice may contribute to tooth decay, but fresh apples are less likely to cause problems. This is because chewing the fruit stimulates your gums, reduces cavity-causing bacteria and increases saliva flow. Saliva decreases acidity in your mouth, washes away particles of food and prevents a decay-causing dry mouth.

Citrus and Other Fruits

Citrus fruits are necessary for oral health, because they have abundant amounts of vitamin C. People with a vitamin C deficiency may experience unhealthy and bleeding gums, which can lead to unstable teeth. Be sure your diet includes citrus and other fresh fruits, such as pineapples, tomatoes and cucumbers -- all rich in vitamin C. Chewing fiber-rich, fresh fruits massages your gums, helps clean your teeth and increases salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids that citrus fruits may leave in your mouth. Good raw fruits to eat are oranges, pears, watermelons and other saliva-producing foods that help cleanse your mouth.

Carrots, Celery and Root Vegetables

Chewing carrots, celery and other fibrous and hard vegetables stimulates the gums. Strong, healthy gums are important to maintaining healthy teeth. Carrots and celery are good sources of beta carotene, which your body needs to create vitamin A -- a nutrient essential for building strong teeth. One way to protect your teeth is by eating raw foods at the end of meals. Such foods include carrots, radish and beetroot. Fat Free Kitchen states that the water content in these vegetables will help clean your teeth and gums.

Leafy Green and Cruciferous Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, chard, collard greens, endive, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, asparagus, spinach and watercress provide your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain and improve oral health. Nutrients found in these dark green foods include vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of magnesium. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and also contains phosphorus, as do cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. Phosphorus is stored in the teeth and bones, and this mineral is instrumental in helping your body balance and absorb calcium and magnesium.

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