Tooth-Friendly Foods For The Family

Shoyu poke, kalbi, mac salad, rice, and more pupus. It’s no wonder so many of us have high blood pressure! Try adding one of these delicious, healthy salads to your next BBQ.

#1 Grilled Chicken & Veggie Salad – Serving size: 4

  • 2 heads of chopped romaine
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, seasoned & cooked
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup of Goat cheese
  • 1 cup of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Dressing
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

#2 Tomato Cucumber Salad with Peach Dressing – Serving Size: 8

  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  • 2 pounds of multicolored cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cups of sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3/8 tablespoon of black pepper
  • Peach dressing (1 cup total)
    • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped thyme
    • Very ripe, finely chopped peach (should be equivalent to about a half cup)
    • 6 tablespoons of olive oil (add oil slowly as you’re whisking the dressing)

#3 Healthy Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette – Serving size: 4

  • 5 cups of chopped romaine
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup of canned black beans (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado, sliced into slivers
  • 1 chopped medium sized tomato
  • 1/4 cup of cheese of your choice
  • 1/4 cup of tortilla strips
  • A few dollops of sour cream as a garnish
  • Lime Vinaigrette
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons of sugar
    • Lime zest for extra flavor

#4 Avocado Caprese Salad – Serving size: 4

  • 6 cups of chopped romaine
  • 2 cooked, boneless pieces of chicken breast, sliced
  • 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Avocado, chopped into squares
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Dressing
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

#5 Southwest Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – Serving size: 4

  • 5 cups of chopped romaine
  • 1/2 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, sliced into slivers
  • 1/2 cup of canned black beans
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 2 boneless, cooked pieces of chicken breast, chopped
  • Cilantro lime dressing (put in a food processor; add oil olive and vinegar slowly until infused)
    • 1 cup of unpacked, fresh cilantro leaves
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/2 cup of greek yogurt
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

#6 Roasted Mushroom & Bacon Spinach Salad (warm) – Serving size: 6

  • 8 cups of spinach
  • 8 slices of bacon, 4 cups of sliced mushrooms, and 1 large red onion sliced
    • Use two baking pans, 4 slices of bacon on each.
    • Scatter onion and mushrooms slices on each baking pan with the bacon.
    • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes in 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven.
    • When done, pour and mix it in with the spinach
  • Dressing (all ingredients for dressing mixed and microwaved on high for 30 seconds – Serve dressing warm)
    • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons of lime juice (1 lime)
    • 1/3 tablespoon of dried oregano
    • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
    • 2 tablespoons of water

And 2 More Bonus Recipes!

Go herb with this Herb Salad

Ingredients: lemon juice, olive oil, dill, basil, chives, tarragon, lettuce, salt, and pepper

How to make: Whisk one part lemon juice and three parts olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Then, toss the mixture with lettuce, chives, basil, dill, and tarragon.

How healthy is this salad?

Lemon: Lemons are an excellent source of vitamins C, B6, A, and E, folate, iron, phosphorus, niacin, zinc thiamin, riboflavin, and copper. Additionally, it contains traces of calcium, pantothenic, magnesium, protein, and potassium.

As if these vitamins and minerals are not enough, this citrus fruit also contains flavonoids that provide antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties.

Lemon is filled with health benefits that you may want to snack on it while you are preparing the salad. Adding to its cancer-fighting properties, it also helps prevent diabetes, constipation, and fever. Likewise, it soothes indigestion; lowers high blood pressure; and improves the hair, skin, and teeth.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is a liquid fat produced by pressing olives. It is abundant in monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which reduces inflammation. Additionally, olive oil contains powerful antioxidants that prevent cholesterol in our blood from oxidizing. It also reduces the risk of stroke, acts as a protection against heart disease, and improves metabolism.

Salt: Salt prevents iodine deficiency, diabetes, and hyponatremia, and sustains hydration. It also improves cardiovascular health and helps us maintain dental hygiene by soothing painful bacterial infections.

Salt’s eternal partner, pepper, which is used to preserve food, is rich in manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamins like riboflavin, vitamin C, K, and B6. This staple spice and seasoning improves digestion, assists in the breakdown of fat cells, and helps cure vitiligo. Also, it provides respiratory relief, helps transport the benefits of other herbs to the other body parts, and improves cognitive function. Pepper has antibacterial qualities and antioxidants, as well.

Dill: Dill has many medicinal properties coming from its nutritional components like monoterpenes, flavonoids, minerals, and amino acids. The herb, widely grown in Europe and Asia, serves as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron, and manganese.

Dill promotes digestion, maintains bone health, manages diabetes, and boosts immunity. It can also help freshen the breath. The essential oils in the herb contain germicidal properties, antioxidants, and disinfectants.

Basil: Basil has antioxidants and antibacterial properties, vitamin K and A, manganese, and magnesium.

Chives: Chives ease digestive discomfort through its allyl sulfide and other organic compounds. The allicin in chives reduces the levels of bad cholesterol, improving heart health. This relative of garlic has high levels of vitamin C for immunity and vitamin K for bone health. Chives also prevent cancer, reduce oxidative stress in the ocular system, and delay the appearance of cataracts in the eyes. Additionally, chives detoxify the body with its presence of antioxidants, carotenes, and folic acid.

Tarragon: Magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins A and C, as well as health-promoting essential oils and antioxidants fill tarragon. This member of the perennial herb species in the sunflower family supports cardiovascular health, lowers blood sugar, and helps with insomnia. To add, tarragon relieves anxiety, reduces body odor, and promotes muscle growth.


Lettuce is an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. This leaf vegetable also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, C, A, E, and K. It is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial agent. Likewise, it contains antioxidants, protects neuronal cells, lowers cholesterol levels, induces sleep, controls anxiety, and fights cancer.

Get squashy with this Squash and Orzo Salad

Ingredients: zucchini, yellow squash, scallions, olive oil, cooked orzo, parsley, dill, goat cheese, salt, and pepper

How to make: Sauté yellow squash, scallions, and zucchini in olive oil until tender. Then, toss parsley, dill, cooked orzo, and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

How healthy is this salad?


Zucchini contains manganese and vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. This summer squash also contains omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, protein, vitamins B1, B6, and B2, and calcium. It additionally boosts the nutritional value of diet, enhances vision, and prevents diseases.

Yellow Squash

Meanwhile, yellow squash is a low-fat, cholesterol-free vegetable that contains vitamin C, iron, folate, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin A, magnesium, and other antioxidants. Magnesium and potassium found in yellow squash form a defense line against cardiovascular issues, improving cardiovascular health. High levels of folate neutralize harmful homocysteine levels which increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Yellow squash has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal capacities. It also treats asthma, regulates blood circulation, improves vision, and strengthens bones.


Scallions are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, and vitamin K. This member of the allium family reduces the risk of several types of cancer.


A form of short-cut pasta shaped like a large grain of rice, orzo, is a low-fat food and a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. The protein in orzo boosts energy levels while its iron helps obtain the body’s oxygen needs.


Parsley has vitamins A, K, C, E, B6, and B12. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, folates, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper. Additionally, found in it are volatile compounds such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Moreover, parsley has antidiabetic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. With the various nutrients found in parsley, it controls rheumatoid arthritis and strengthens the immune system.

Goat Cheese

Goat cheese has fewer calories and is filled with vitamin A and B, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

It’s important to remember that salads aren’t always large pieces of lettuce with additional toppings. They can also consist of sliced vegetables with herbs drizzled with a healthy sauce or dressing. Find which salad suits you and your family best.

Happy salad making!

Need Healthy Alternatives for those Salty Pupus?

#1 Cheese

Cheese provides a lot of important vitamins and minerals important for strong, healthy teeth. Calcium provided in cheese allows for strong teeth, and the protein casein keeps tooth enamel healthy and up-kept.

Cheese also helps maintain the pH balance in the mouth, which is vital for good oral health.

In addition to these, cheese also provides probiotics which are healthy bacteria. Probiotics can help fight against bad oral bacteria in the mouth and rest of the body, preventing cavity development, gum disease, and other health problems.


  • Brie cheese on crackers
  • A cheese ball to dip crunchy breadsticks in
  • Baguette slices with herb cream cheese
  • Cheese cubes

#2 Fish

Containing plenty of phosphorus, fish helps replenish this lost mineral important for strong tooth enamel. In turn, strong tooth enamel helps protect the teeth from suffering from tooth sensitivity and cavities.


  • Tuna salad
  • Fried fish sticks
  • Fish tacos
  • Smoked salmon on crackers

#3 Celery

Celery is helpful for both the teeth and the gums given that its crunchy, chewy, stringy texture acts as a toothbrush in a way. Also due to its texture, the extra crunchiness contributes to strong saliva production important in washing away bad oral bacteria otherwise known to create cavities and other oral-related problems.


  • Celery slices with peanut butter
  • Pasta salad with celery slices
  • Veggie soup with celery
  • Walnut, celery, apple salad with mustard vinaigrette

Other tips for a healthy picnic with family:

Avoid sugary, acidic beverages such as soda, juices with added sugar, coffee, sports drinks, or alcoholic beverages.

These will break down the enamel layer of the teeth and increase the risk of cavities. Instead, try a sugarless fruit smoothie, sugar-less juice with raw veggies/fruit, green tea with no added sugar, or simple water with sliced cucumbers and/or mint for flavor.

Limit or avoid desserts if a tooth-friendly meal is something you value.

Instead, have a sugarless fruit salad for dessert. If you want something a little sweeter that’s still fairly healthy, opt for sliced bananas with crushed almonds, drizzled with a dash of honey. Otherwise, be sure to bring plenty of water to wash down any desserts or sugary foods you do decide to bring on the picnic.

Try to avoid foods that are very tough, hard, sticky, gooey, or easily get stuck in the teeth.

This type of foods includes popcorn (especially the kernels), caramel, hard candies, tough meats, crunchy granola bars, taffy, kettle-style potato chips, and corn nuts. Avoiding these is especially advised for those who have crowns or dental devices such as braces.

Don’t forget the toothpicks.

A lot of people find toothpicks or even flossing after meals cliche. Others believe these provide no help for the teeth. However, leaving bits and pieces of food to decay in the mouth increases the risk of cavities and bad breath. It only feeds bad oral bacteria in the mouth and causes worsening problems for our oral health.

Can gluten harm oral health?

No, gluten itself will not hamper oral health. However, gluten can be harmful to your oral health if you suffer from celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. Gluten can potentially negatively impact oral health to these folks by causing:

Likely due to a higher bacteria count in those who are gluten sensitive or suffer from celiac disease, canker sores are likely to form. While these heal within a few weeks, these can be painful. Thus, one should stay away from acidic and spicy foods when dealing with canker sores.

  • Tooth deformity (in severe cases)

A different shape or appearance in the teeth may be a symptom of a gluten sensitivity as well. Teeth may even appear translucent or blotchy. Because those suffering from celiac disease have difficulty absorbing vital nutrients, this usually means weakened, deformed, or deteriorated bones and teeth.

Those with celiac disease, in particular, sometimes have issues with their enamel. Deterioration or damage in the form of a holey or gritty texture to the enamel is not uncommon. This is likely due to the lack of nutrients given to the teeth to keep a strong, healthy enamel layer.

Check with your dentist to see what can be done about your enamel deterioration or damage. Remineralizing gels in minor cases or intake of extra fluoride through other sources may be necessary. Tooth sensitivity toothpaste may also be an option in less extreme cases. Check with a dentist first.

Yet another oral-related problem tied with celiac disease is tooth discoloration, often brown, yellow, or white spots. Weakened enamel and composition of the teeth can easily be discolored. In turn, this may require a visit to the dentist to see if this issue can be fixed.

Believed to be caused by a higher level of bacteria in the body, thus more oral bacteria housing in the mouth, gum disease is another likely outcome of those whose bodies are not able to properly digest gluten. For this reason, upkeeping your oral health and biannual dental appointments is a must.

Scroll to top