Did you know that 9 out of 10 people experience tooth decay or tooth or cavities, and tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease? It is prevalent even in adults. People who lack access to affordable care have significantly higher rates of oral disease. This is why eating fruits and vegetables daily can give you a healthy smile.

Taking care of your teeth is not difficult. In fact, you can even help your teeth and gums while you eat and chew your food. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), food choices and healthy eating patterns can help prevent tooth decay. Conversely, choosing foods that are bad for your teeth and gums can negatively impact your oral health. 

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Eating whole grains that are low in sugar and cereals or fruits and vegetables and quality protein are perhaps the best foods for your healthy mouth. Fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial because chewing coarse, firm,  watery, and fibrous foods will help you produce saliva. Additionally, fibrous food helps in removing leftover food particles stuck between teeth.

Learn more about what foods are right for your oral health and what good habits can help.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Help Keep Teeth Healthy

Hope you know that the best foods for healthy teeth are fresh fruits and vegetables because of their nutritional and mouth health benefits. For example, raw vegetables and crisp fruits like carrots, apples, and celery, help clean plaque on teeth besides freshen up your breath. 

Most fruits and vegetables contain loads of antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C, that help protect gums and other tissues in your mouth from bacterial infection and cell damage. Leafy salad greens contain lots of folic acids, a popular member of the B vitamin family, which promotes a healthy mouth. Folic acid also supports cell growth throughout the entire body. Missing out on these nutrients would lead to vitamin deficiencies

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You should always try to shop for fresh fruits and green veggies from your local market. Look for these fruits and vegetables in your local grocery or farmer’s market for your healthy teeth and gums. Fresh fruits and vegetables are richer in nutrients and vitamins and are also beneficial for your body. 

Apples and Citrus Fruits

It is rightly said an “apple a day” is also great for your teeth too. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, eating an apple or other fibrous fruits like carrots, oranges, or celery can help clean your teeth. Moreover, these fruits and vegetables increase salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids left behind in your mouth.

On the contrary, a glass of sugary apple juice might contribute to tooth decay. But fresh apples are less likely to cause problems. This is probably because chewing the fibrous texture of apples stimulates your gums, which further reduces cavity-causing bacteria and increases saliva flow. And more saliva secretion is good because it decreases acidity in your mouth. More saliva in your mouth also helps wash away particles of food that lead to decay.

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Hence be sure your diet includes citrus fruits and other fresh fruits rich in vitamin C to reap the vitamin C benefits. They include pears, apples, strawberries, pineapples, cucumbers, and tomatoes – all are rich in vitamin C.

A quick note, apple juice contributes to tooth decay because it is high in sugar. Moreover, the apple juice does not have the scrubbing or saliva-increasing effects of eating fresh apples. Juices also lack fiber, which is found in the skin of the fresh fruit. Hence to maximize the benefits, you should choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of juice whenever possible.

Carrots, Celery, and Root Vegetables

You might be knowing that strong, healthy gums are important to maintaining healthy teeth. And like oranges and apples, chewing raw carrots, celery, and other fibrous and hard vegetables stimulates the gums. These hard vegetables help to generate mouth-cleansing saliva. 

In addition, celery and carrots are also good sources of beta carotene, which your body needs to create vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for building strong teeth.

Leafy Green and Cruciferous Vegetables

Eating leafy salads helps you get more folic acid in your diet. This type of B vitamin promotes a healthy mouth, particularly by supporting new cell growth in your mouth. In general, the darker the leafy vegetable, the more nutrients it contains.

Leafy green and dark, multi-colored vegetables, especially lettuce and kale, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, chard, and other greens, are packed with a variety of minerals and vitamins. These vitamins are necessary to maintain and improve your oral health. 

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These dark green foods include nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, beta carotene, and magnesium. Phosphorus is stored in your bones and teeth to help your body balance and absorb magnesium and calcium.


Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and other plant foods rich in anthocyanins primarily prevent the attachment and colonization of pathogens on host tissues including your teeth. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant colors. Compounds found in cranberries for example have been found to disrupt the enzymes associated with the bacteria forming process that leads to plaque formation and tooth decay.

Raw and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Are Nature’s Toothbrush

Most of the fresh, green vegetables you eat are high in fiber and pack several benefits:

  • The fibrous texture of raw fruits and vegetables can help brush food residue off your teeth and mouth. As they are crunchy, they help clean food particles that get stuck to your teeth. The extra saliva gets produced when you continuously chew these high fiber foods. Saliva also helps neutralize mouth bacteria, thus keeping your mouth clear of harmful bacteria.
  • High-fiber vegetables can increase salivation. Salivation can effectively decrease the acidity in your mouth. In addition, it acts as a kind of natural rinse for stubborn food particles on your teeth and gums. Increase your intake of food items high in fiber. Fiber supports digestive health and might promote healthy blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Eating fibrous food massages your gum tissue naturally. This will help to fight the tooth cavity and further increase salivation. 

Remember, green and fresh fruits and vegetables can not take the place of your toothbrush. But greens do work as a powerful complement to your daily oral health routine.

Therefore, your dentist or doctor would recommend eating raw, fresh salads at the end of every meal. This practice would help to “brush away” the foods that came before them.

Green and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Good Oral Health

Good oral health is vital as it enhances your ability to eat, smile, speak, and show your emotions through facial expressions. All good oral hygiene, preventive oral health habits,  and regular dental care, if developed early in life, especially during early years, can lead to a healthy person.

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It is important to note that good oral health is vital throughout your life. It is a reality that oral health has improved over the past several decades, but today, a sizable number of individuals go without primary dental care. This has led to higher rates of oral diseases.   

From gum disease, tooth decay to oral cancer, oral diseases still cause significant pain, complication, and hardship for many people. These problems mainly affect those people who lack access to care and preventive services. 

One should have access to affordable, preventive dental care to decrease disparities in oral health. Early intervention and early prevention in early childhood and teenage years are crucial for your future. If you lose teeth or get affected by a cavity, it may have many implications on your overall well-being as it will continue throughout your life.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can also promote healthy oral bacteria besides vitamins and supplements. Their fibrous leaves and crunchy nature can keep your teeth and gums clean and stimulate saliva production. In addition, it can enrich your saliva with minerals that help keep your enamel strong. 

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Are you eating the recommended amount of fresh fruits and green vegetables for your smile every day? If you get the proper nutrients in your daily diet and maintain your oral hygiene, you can keep your healthy and beautiful smile to impress your dentist at your next check-up.

How to Get More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet

All you need to do is to add enough fresh produce to your diet. It is easier said than done. Follow these tips to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables:

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  • Add bananas, strawberries, or blueberries to your oatmeal or waffles.
  • Reach for an apple or carrot stick whenever you need a snack between meals.
  • Try to freeze fruits and veggies to use in your smoothies.
  • Set your greens out on the counter where it is easily visible. It will help you include them in your meals when they are visible.
  • Buy ready-made salads when you want a fast, convenient lunch instead of junk food.
  • Add tomatoes, spinach, and other favorite veggies to your pizza.
  • Stir more green vegetables into noodle dishes and soups.
  • Enjoy fruit for a healthy, sweet dessert.

Maintain Good Oral Health with Regular Dentist Visits

Trying to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables helps to strengthen your teeth. Moreover, it promotes healthy gums and prevents cavities. But just because you have a nutritious diet, you cannot skip routine dental exams and cleanings.

If it has been six months since your last trip to the dentist, try scheduling an appointment with your dentist today. The team will help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile you can be proud of.