Fortunately, when you live in a vibrant urban community like San Francisco, you don’t have to sacrifice good good health just because you want to eat out.
In this month’s post, we’ll share our favorite restaurants in San Francisco that are great for your teeth. First though, let’s go over what constitutes a diet that’s good for your oral health.
What type of food is good for my mouth?
What you eat has a direct effect on the health of your teeth and gums. While dental work can be done to correct the damage done by a poor diet, it’s better (and cheaper) to promote and maintain a healthy mouth than to correct a degraded one.
Fortunately, it’s easy to stick to a diet that’s good for your teeth; in fact, it’s a similar diet to one that’s good for the rest of your body, too. Namely, nutritious foods that are low in sugars, fat, and acid. Foods rich in the following nutrients are particularly great for your mouth:
- Vitamins A, B, C, D
These nutrients will help keep your tooth structure strong and develop connective tissue to keep your mouth happy.
What foods should I eat for a healthy mouth?
Key to keep your mouth healthy is eating food rich in the below nutrients.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and kale: These greens are rich in folic acid, calcium, and vitamins
- Almonds and other nuts: Rich in calcium and phosphorous, nuts are a key part of any well-balanced diet. Watch out though – almonds are hard and are best eaten when sliced.
- Onions and garlic: Both are great for fighting gum disease due to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities
- Whole grains: These complex carbohydrates are packed with vitamin b and iron. For the best varieties, try quinoa, brown rice, and millet.
- Berries: While they do contain sugar, berries are packed with antioxidants and other nutrients, which are great for your mouth
What foods to avoid for a healthy mouth
To keep your smile happy, avoid foods that are:
- Sugary: Foods high in sugar encourage bacteria to damage your tooth enamel and create cavities
- Acidic: Will degrade enamel and dissolve your teeth, leading to cavities
- Sticky: Hard to remove from your teeth, sticky foods can lead to gum disease and tooth decay
- Extremely Hard: These can damage your teeth, leading to gum disease or tooth loss
- Highly-Processed: These foods offer little nutritional value and are often high in sugar
Our favorite restaurants in San Francisco that are great for teeth
Now that we’ve taken a look at what a meal that’s great for your teeth looks like, let’s take a look at our favorite places to get a bite that promote good oral health.
Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar and Izakaya
This sushi bar offers a completely vegan menu, including the Tomato Nigiri (shown above) and a number of other faux-fish delights. The sleek and contemporary restaurant also offers a number of other Japanese specialties, such as a delicious yuba salad.
One of the top farm-to-table restaurants in San Francisco, Frances is a must try for an Bay Area foodie. Offering a menu of seasonal vegetables and meats, Frances focuses on ingredients from local Californian markets and farms. This means the menu is constantly changing, but also always fresh and delicious!
Blue Barn Gourmet
Blue Barn Gourmet is known for its salads and sandwiches. While it’s easy to stray from healthier options to delicious sandwiches (like their Ragin Cajun turkey sandwich), their salads (such as the Detox Salad) are filled with nutritious and yummy veggies and whole grains that will keep your mouth happy.
Asian Box’s gluten free cuisine can fill you up with a low carb, veggie filled asian-inspired meal. While this may be considered “fast food,” their offerings are healthy and their interior is beautiful. While you could get it to go, why not take a seat and enjoy the decor while you eat your Garden Box filled with tofu and veggies (our favorite).
Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant
762 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Menu: In-store only
This vegan and vegetarian small plate restaurant is our favorite Japanese restaurant in the city! With delicious mushroom and tofu dishes, this spot is both healthy, delicious, and mushroom filled. Mushrooms are high in lentinan, which helps fight off plaque!
Located in the heart of the Mission District (which knows its way around Mexican cuisine), Gracias Madre is a more casual healthy Mexican food option. Featuring a completely vegan menu, you’ll be sure to find a dish here to satisfy your Mexican craving while still keeping your mouth healthy.
This raw, vegan spot is filled with delicious treats that taste as good as they are beautiful. They have a number of creations, such as the almond pate and tamari-marinated portobello mushrooms that are as delicious as they are healthy. All of this, plus it’s relatively low priced, make this spot a must eat!
Located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Little Gem is the oral health-forward restaurant to go to for a night out on the town. Though the portions are small, the food is a delicious, healthy and organic take on a high-end dining experience.
Make this your next date night!
Located in a former McDonalds, this gluten-free and paleo diet-friendly restaurant offers healthy options of “recognizable and comforting food.” Plus, they make all their foods with “healthier” oils and cook up their meals quick. Great for when you want a health-forward option on the go!
Join the San Francisco Green Dentistry community!
At Green Dentistry, we love serving the health-conscious San Francisco community we’ve been a part of for over a decade. Our holistic and high-tech approach is designed to help you stay healthy for life!
Questions about how to eat well to maintain dental health?
Give us a call at (415) 433-0119.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California’s School of Dentistry, Dr. Patel is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. As a trusted dentist, Dr. Patel provides her patients with more than just world-class dental care — she helps them recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. She is also a ForbesBooks and Amazon best-selling author.