03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Eat Your Way To Healthy Teeth

[I]t's not just the usual suspects like sugar that may be harmful. Some surprising--even healthy--foods can cause cavities, while others can help protect you from decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. Here, how to tailor your diet for optimal dental health.

Eat carbs at mealtimes
A handful of potato chips or even a whole wheat roll can be just as damaging to your teeth and gums as a chocolate chip cookie. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are ultimately converted by bacteria in the mouth into plaque, a sticky residue that is the primary cause of gum disease and cavities.

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