Tips from David Zelby DDS

Atlanta Dentist discusses food for dental health

Your oral health and nutrition

Your oral health and healthy nutrition

You might remember being told as a child (and possibly as an adult) to not eat too many sweets or candies for fear of developing cavities. Did you know, however, that your dietary habits can also have a positive effect on the health of your teeth and gums? Like the rest of your body, your mouth requires an ample supply of a specific set of nutrients to operate properly. To help you make the most of your diet, Atlanta prosthodontist and dentist, Dr. David Zelby, explains what you should feed your smile to keep it healthy and happy.

Smile-Friendly Nutrition

While your entire body benefits from a diet that consists primarily of plant-based foods, lean proteins, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water, your smile especially needs the following vitamins and minerals:


In the world of healthy nutrition, calcium is something of a superstar. The mineral is essential to the health and strength of your bones, including the jawbone that supports and nourishes your teeth. If your jawbone grows weak due to a nutrient deficiency, it can lose its ability to retain your natural teeth. Calcium is also a vital component in the makeup of your tooth enamel—the strong, mineralized substance that surrounds and protects your teeth. When it’s healthy, your enamel is the strongest substance that your body produces, and ensuring an adequate supply of calcium and other enamel-essential minerals can help improve your chances of preventing tooth decay.

Dr. Zelby’s Tip: While dairy products are a popular choice for meeting your calcium requirements, you can choose non-dairy calcium sources such as almonds, dark leafy greens, tofu, and sesame seeds.


Your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body to be used where needed (oxygenation). Without enough iron in your bloodstream, a condition called anemia, your body cannot produce enough red blood cells and your body suffers as a result. In the case of your oral health, an iron deficiency typically results in mouth sores, troubled taste buds, a sore tongue, and possible oral tissue damage. Anemia can also inhibit your immune system, allowing oral bacteria to flourish at a faster pace.

Dr. Zelby’s Tip: Red meat, liver, and mollusks like clams or oysters provide high levels of iron but are not an option for people who don’t care to eat meat. Vegetarian sources of iron include beans, lentils, dried fruit, and artichokes.

Vitamin C

As a popular ingredient in orange juice, many people may recognize vitamin C as a valued addition to your diet. The vitamin is essential to maintaining many vital body tissues, including your blood vessels and skin, and acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Poor periodontal health and a significantly increased risk of gum disease are common side effects of vitamin C deficiency.

Dr. Zelby’s Tip: Everyone knows orange juice and citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, but you can also get your daily requirements from broccoli, dark leafy greens, kiwis, bell peppers, chili peppers, and strawberries.

Keep Your Smile Bright and Healthy in Atlanta

To learn more about protecting or improving your smile, schedule an appointment with your Atlanta prosthodontist by calling (770) 955-0550 today. Dr. Zelby and the expert team at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta can return your smile to optimal health, function, and beauty. Our Atlanta dentist office proudly serves patients in Marietta, Smyrna, East Cobb, Buckhead, Vinings, and Metro Atlanta. Proud member of the BBB of Atlanta.