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Proper brushing and flossing is critical for healthy teeth and gums. However, there is an important consideration even before tooth-brushing time. Sticking to a balanced diet is just as important for healthy teeth as it is for a strong body. When we eat a variety of nutritious foods, we provide our bodies with vital nutrients.

Good food + brushing well = healthy teeth

Food and drinks that are high in acid and/or sugar can damage the teeth. In fact, consuming too much sugar or acid can weaken enamel and increase the likelihood of tooth decay. It can also stain the teeth. Eating good food boosts the immune system and aids in preventing tooth decay.

 HealthyChildren.org, via the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers several guiding principles to keep in mind when planning and preparing meals for the family. These will help to maintain healthy teeth and body:

Everyone should eat foods from the five major food groups. Each food group provides necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Fruits: 2-4 servings per day

Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day

Protein foods: 2-3 servings of 2-3 ounces per serving

Dairy products: 2-3 servings per day

Bread, cereal, and pasta make up the final food group. It is important to have several servings per day, keeping in mind that each serving should only equal 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of cereal, or a 1/2 cup of pasta.

Protein is a requirement for proper growth and body function. Meat, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs are valuable sources of protein. Other protein-rich foods include beans, grains, and nuts.

Water, especially fluoridated water, helps to make teeth more resistant to the acids that can cause cavities. So, drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.

Avoiding sugary and sticky treats is also important. If the family indulges once in a while, just remember to quickly brush and floss to prevent clingy residue from holding tight.

We want your bright smile to shine, so eat good foods!