When it comes to good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing is a must. However, did you know that there’s more to healthy teeth than just fluoride and dental checkups? Maintaining a good, balanced diet is crucial to keeping your teeth healthy and strong. What you eat may contribute to tooth decay, but in more ways than you might expect. Although it’s important to keep sugary candy and soda out of your body, it’s just as important to make sure the right foods go in your body. Experts say that a good diet includes a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy, along with plenty of water. Research on dental and periodontal disease indicates that good nutrition is important for prevention, and that nutritional counseling is a great way to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to fortify your teeth.

The likelihood of tooth decay may decrease when healthy, high quality foods are consistently consumed. Antioxidants and other nutrients are key contributors to this, and can be found naturally in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and even some legumes. These antioxidants can aid natural immune processes and help your body fight the bacteria and inflammation that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Other foods may even be able to change the way the mouth takes care of harmful bacteria.