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5 Tooth-friendly snacks to nourish oral and overall health
Mar 26, 2024

CAMP HILL, Pa. (March 26, 2024) — Food and drink consumption not only have an impact on overall wellness, but they also affect the health of teeth and gums. This National Nutrition Month, United Concordia Dental highlights five tooth-friendly snacks that can nourish the whole body.

“The consistency of the food you eat, how frequently it’s consumed and its nutritional makeup can all have an influence on the health of your mouth,” said Roosevelt Allen, DDS, MAGD, ABGD, chief dental officer, United Concordia Dental. “Diets high in added sugars and acids naturally weaken tooth enamel and can inflame gums, leading to tooth decay and gum disease over time. Nutrient-rich, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and quality proteins best support a healthy mouth and body.”

In a recent consumer behavior survey regarding snacking habits by Circana, 49% of United States participants say they eat more than three snacks per day. 

“The more sugary, starchy food and drinks interact with your teeth throughout the day, the greater the risk of cavities developing. When you’re consistently snacking, increasing your brushing frequency can help decrease that risk,” said Dr. Allen. “The American Dental Association recommends limiting the amount of eating and drinking between meals to optimize dental health.“

When brushing isn’t convenient, eating healthy snacks is the next best thing. Here’s a list of tooth-friendly options to consider:

Nuts: Soft nuts, like peanuts and cashews, are packed with healthy nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, which can help fight bacteria that leads to tooth decay.

Fresh fruits and vegetables: Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, such as apples and carrots, can help clean plaque and freshen breath. Additionally, they have antioxidant vitamins that can help protect gums and prevent bacterial infection.

Cheese and other dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products that are low in sugar and high in calcium can help retain bone density and protect against cavities and gum disease.

Lean proteins: Most meats, like beef, poultry and fish, have protein and other essential vitamins that are good for your oral health. Chewing meat also produces saliva, which decreases acidity in your mouth and washes away particles of food that lead to decay.

Beverages: When it comes to hydration, replace carbonated, acidic and sugary drinks,   including seltzers, sodas, iced teas and sports drinks, with water. Water acts as a buffer that neutralizes the shift in pH from an acidic drink. It is also acts as a natural defense against cavities and helps to wash away leftover food particles after eating.

For more on oral health, visit the Oral Health Resources section at

Suzanne Cibotti
United Concordia Dental

Leilyn Perri
Highmark Health