Here at Booth Orthodontics, we’re committed to creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Southwest Chicago and the surrounding communities. The most obvious way we do that is through orthodontics, which can help improve the health of a patient’s teeth and gums. Another way to accomplish that is by encouraging our patients to maintain their nutrition and oral health. It’s no secret that what we eat and drink is an important part of staying healthy, but did you know that what you choose to consume can also affect your oral health? For better or worse, nutrition plays a role in your smile! Let’s take a closer look at how your diet can help protect your teeth – or negatively affect them. 

Nutrition as a building block of oral health

It may sound strange, but nutrition affects our oral health before we’re ever even born. The foods that an expectant mother consumes contains calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and protein, which help her baby’s teeth begin to form and mineralize properly. This process actually continues throughout our lives! Our teeth will develop and mineralize throughout our teen years, and our oral tissues never stop recycling. However, it takes a variety of vitamins and minerals for this process to be successful. 

Good nutrition can also be viewed as preventive oral care. Nutritional deficiencies can reduce your resistance to dental disease, and inhibit your body’s ability to fight off certain kinds of infection. Your diet can help prevent tooth decay and enamel erosion, but the opposite of that is true as well. While human mouths are hospitable to many different kinds of bacteria, not all of them are helpful. There are a number of harmful microorganisms out there just waiting to take advantage of any added sugar in your diet!

If this kind of bad bacteria is given an open invitation due to poor oral care, it will begin processing ingested sugar, then producing acids that eat into the enamel of your teeth. This can increase your chances of developing cavities and gum disease, and may eventually lead to loose or even lost teeth. This is just one reason why we encourage our patients to avoid consuming too much added sugar.

A healthier diet can give you a healthier mouth

When it comes to choosing foods that will benefit your teeth and oral health, there are a ton of options! Whole grains, vegetables, and fruit are often excellent sources of healthy vitamins and minerals, and starch-rich staples like bread, rice, and potatoes can be good for you, too. 

Keep in mind, however, that even naturally occurring sugar can cause dental issues when consumed in large enough quantities, especially if it’s not being removed through brushing and flossing. Moderation is key when it comes to any kind of sugar, as is a good dental hygiene routine. Here are a few of our favorite picks for a stronger smile and improved oral health! 

Milk and other dairy products

Not that most of us need an incentive to eat cheese, but it is actually good for you. Dairy products, including cheese, milk, and yogurt, are full of calcium that will help keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.

Whole grain bread and pasta

Certain whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that will all those bad bacteria we mentioned above less digestible food to grow on. They also contain a number of other nutrients that can help your whole mouth stay healthy.

Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish

Meat may be more typically associated with protein, but these foods also contain phosphorus, which is a vital component when it comes to strengthening your teeth and protecting the tooth enamel.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Eating a rainbow is one of the best things you can do for your overall health! Leafy greens in particular can give your smile a boost since they contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, all of which are instrumental in improving and maintaining oral health.


Soda, juice, and sports drinks are extremely popular in our country, but they’re not always the best choice when it comes to caring for our smiles. These beverages are known for leaving behind sugar that provides bacteria with an open buffet, which can result in acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Sodas and juices also contain phosphoric, citric, or malic acids that can make any preexisting enamel erosion worse.

When it comes to quenching your thirst and benefiting your whole body, you can’t beat plain water! Water helps wash away any leftover food and debris from your teeth, and dilutes the acids that are produced by harmful bacteria. Drinking more water can also help bring a dry mouth and bad breath under control. In general, drinking your eight glasses a day gives your oral health a boost, and can even reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Find your best smile at Booth Orthodontics

Now that you know the role diet plays in your overall oral health, it’s even more important to make smart choices as an orthodontic patient. By adopting a healthier diet and paying a little extra attention to your nutrition, you’ll be giving your smile an extra sparkle and helping to improve your total body health, too!

Booth Orthodontics is proud to provide you with all the treatment options and expert support you need to give you a healthy, beautiful smile. If you’re in Homer Glen or the surrounding areas and want to learn more about how good nutrition can improve your oral health, our expert team is here to help! Give us a call today or click here to schedule a FREE consultation with our office.