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We’ve all heard the phrase: “You are what you eat!” Unfortunately, you can’t just eat healthy teeth to have healthy teeth!

The foods you eat as part of your daily diet do indeed  affect your oral health. Sweet and sticky foods, like candy, soft drinks, desserts and dried fruits, can stick to your teeth and along the gum line. The sugars in these foods feed the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Highly acidic foods, especially citrus fruit, can cause damage to tooth enamel. These foods should either be avoided or eaten as part of a meal.

There are other foods that are very helpful to the overall health of your mouth.

Foods that are high in calcium, like cheese, milk, plain yogurt, leafy greens and certain types of tree nuts, can have a positive impact on the strength of your teeth.

Protein-rich foods with phosphorus, like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs, can also help strengthen and fortify tooth enamel.

Most fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and stimulate saliva production to help wash away harmful bacteria and residual sugars left by other foods. Also, many fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Vitamin A is an important nutrient that helps fortify tooth enamel. While vitamin C works to boost the immune system and can help battle the early effects of periodontal disease.