Five Ways Nutrition Can Affect Your Teeth

Headshot of Dr. Wade Elton

At Alpine Dental Health, we make it easy for you to smile! We truly care for our patients, and that includes not just their dental health but also their overall well-being. In this spirit, we are celebrating National Nutrition Month this March. Many people think of nutrition’s impact on their body in terms of physical fitness, but nutrition plays a major role in your health everywhere in your body- even in your mouth!

Here are five ways nutrition affects your dental health:

1) Diet and Tooth Decay
It’s widely known that eating sugary snacks may cause tooth decay, however it’s not the sugar itself that harms the enamel on teeth. So how do sugary snacks cause tooth decay? It’s actually the acidity created by bacteria eating that sugar that harms teeth. Another step to consider is limiting your teeth’s exposure to acidic foods like oranges, grapefruit and tomatoes, especially when you’re eating them by themselves. Eating acidic fruits along with other foods helps dilute acids that can cause tooth decay.

2) Calcium
It’s important to have enough calcium in your diet for proper dental health. Simply put, calcium makes your teeth stronger, and stronger teeth are healthier teeth. Healthy teeth are more resistant to cavities and gum disease caused by pockets of acid near your gum line. Eating dairy foods that are rich in calcium, such as cheese, milk, yogurt or calcium-fortified non-dairy sources such as salmon, almonds or beans are all great ways to improve your dental health.

3) Phosphorus
Your body uses phosphorus along with calcium when it strengthens and builds your teeth and bones. High-protein foods are usually a good source of phosphorus, so meat, poultry, fish and milk are all part of a tooth-healthy diet.

4) Tap Water
Outside of avoiding excess sugar, drinking plenty of tap water is a very important piece of dental nutrition. Tap water contains fluoride, a natural mineral that strengthens teeth, reducing the rate of cavities by 20-40 percent, according the American Dental Association. Bottled water usually doesn’t contain the trace sources of the element, so avoiding drinking from the tap may be harming your teeth in the long run.

Whether it’s from tap water or bottled water, hydration is also a critical part of dental health. Drinking water washes out your mouth naturally and also helps prevent dehydration, which can lead to dry mouth and tooth decay.

5) Other Nutrients
Other nutrients found in a balanced diet, such as Vitamin A and C, are also thought to be helpful in your body’s fight against gum disease. Try to eat a balanced diet, including a full complement of vitamins and minerals – not only does it benefit your body as a whole, it will keep your teeth healthy and happy!

Along with proper nutrition, your regular, twice yearly dental exams and cleanings are the key to keeping your smile healthy! These important visits help us diagnose dental problems early, when they are easier and less expensive to treat. No dental insurance? You’re not alone and we can help! Check out our in-office Alpine Dental Health Smile Plan. Our premium dental coverage provides individuals and families preventive dental care at no cost, plus significant savings on other dental treatments.

Looking for a caring dentist? Click here to learn more about Alpine Dental Health and what you can expect on your first visit – including our Satisfaction Promise.

Dr. Wade Elton practices in our downtown Denver office. He can be reached at our contact form or by emailing his office at

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