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Celebrate National Nutrition Month® with a healthy smile! Choosing nutritious foods is important for strong teeth, healthy gums and your overall health.  Foods that are high in sugar increases the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when plaque comes into contact with sugar in the mouth causing acid to attack the teeth (American Dental Association). Eating a variety of foods from the five major food groups: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products not only helps with maintaining a healthy diet but also helps maintain healthy teeth.

Smart snacking can also support good oral health. Limit sugary treats such as candies, pastries, and cookies. Foods that contain added sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay. Go for healthy choices such as raw veggies, low-fat cheese, or plain yogurt. Limiting the number of snacks per day can also help promote health teeth and gums. Try this Creamy Fruit Salad Recipe!

What you drink is also as important as what you eat. Drink water to stay hydrated and for healthy teeth. Drinking soda, sports drinks, juice, or sweetened coffee every day can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Remember, what you eat and drink matters. Along with healthy eating, follow these helpful dental habits for better oral health.

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste morning and night for two minutes to remove food, stains and bacteria to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Floss at least once a day. Flossing between your teeth everyday can help remove plaque and excess food particles in areas your toothbrush cannot reach.

See your dentist twice a year for dental exams, cleaning and to allow your dentist to find and treat early signs of dental problems.

Smart eating tips and recipes for a healthy smile.

Choose My Plate – 10 tips to help you build a healthy eating style.

Food Hero – Find healthy, easy, budget friendly recipes for the whole family.

Top nine (9) foods that can damage your teeth.