Smiles for Life  

You are what you eat


Dentistry and food are intimately involved. The teeth are responsible for chewing food and beginning the process of digestion. The variety of food we have to choose from in this age of consumerism and immediate gratification poses a great challenge to having a healthy mouth.

Foods that contain carbohydrates (high sugar content) are referred to as cariogenic or cavity causing. The decay process begins when dental plaque and the acid produced from high sugar foods are left on the teeth for extended periods. Eventually, the acid will break down enamel.

To reduce the possibility of dental decay, limit eating sweets to mealtime and brush and floss thoroughly after meals. Some of the less sugary snack foods include fruits and vegetables. These foods are great for your teeth and your overall health.


Celery: One of the best foods for you as it requires a lot of chewing, causing the mouth to produce extra saliva.  Saliva destroys one type of bacteria that causes plaque.  It also massages your gums and cleans spaces between your teeth.

Cheese: Low in carbohydrates which plaque thrives on.  pH is also managed by cheese in the mouth. 

Onions: They may not be great for your breath but they are for your mouth. The antibacterial compounds in onions kill one of the types of bacteria that cause plaque.  Unfortunately these plaque fighting compounds are strongest when raw, so keep a toothbrush handy!

Parsley and Mint:   Help to freshen your breath and are completely natural. (Try some after eating a raw onion!) Add chopped parsley to salads or put mint on top of dessert.

Seeds:  Are important in cleaning plaque from the teeth and seeds like sesame seeds are high in calcium and good for bones. 

Water: It rinses and cleanses your mouth as well as hydrates your tissues.  Drink six to eight glasses a day for optimal health.

These are just some of the foods that are good for your mouth. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally for maximum health benefits.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dr. Jack DeGruchy, a graduate of the University of Alberta has been practicing dentistry for the past 4 decades. His love of education has taken him all over the world to study and saw him completing a fellowship in the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry as well as becoming a Fellow in the International Academy of Dentistry. He has travelled to Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Japan and Africa to share dental knowledge and has learned new and innovative dental techniques during these exchanges.

He established a multidisciplinary dental centre in Kelowna and was involved in the cutting edge of many of the present day dental technologies. Jack has been involved with implant dentistry since 1985, and has trained with Straumann, Nobel Pharma and Simpler systems. He sees implant dentistry as a wonderful development in the evolution of quality dentistry and is excited about the ways in which it enhances patient care. Of particular interest to Jack is what goes on during sleep that affects the teeth, the joints and surrounding muscles. Learning is definitely a way of life for Jack.

Jack’s interest in sports dentistry resulted in his being named as dentist to the BC Lions and both the Buckaroo and Kelowna Rocket hockey teams. He has been involved in many minor sports organizations from swimming and downhill ski racing to football and hockey.

Community development is important to Jack, and he has been involved in helping bring to fruition Prospera Place, The Rotary Centre of the Arts and the Kelowna Art Gallery, of which he is a past director.He has established the Westside Dental Centre and looks forward to helping the Westside community develop.

He is a major supporter of the Canadian artist, Robert Bateman and the “Get to Know” program which is an international non-profit organization based in Kelowna that seeks to provide opportunities for youth to connect with nature through outdoor educational experiences.
Jack and his wife, Gaylene, enjoy their three children and their spouses, and they have been blessed with eight wonderful grandchildren!

You can reach Dr. DeGruchy at Westside Dental Centre at 250-707-0248 or emailing [email protected] or on the web at jdsmiles.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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