A few days ago, when I went for my biannual cleaning, the dental hygienist noticed that I had a lot less plaque than the last time around. Lo and behold, we changed our diet quite a bit since then, cutting out almost all sugars, refined carbs, all starchy and sweet vegetables, as well as most grains, and eating a lot more vegetables in general.
In the 1930s dentist Weston Price studied the relationship between dental health and diet of indigenous people versus people from industrialized countries. His famous study linked deformed arches and crooked teeth as well as poor general immunity to poor diet, not only in Western people but also in the younger indigenous generation whose parents had adopted more Western types of foods. Nowadays we are quite aware of the effect of sugar on teeth, but Price also pointed deeper, to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in food due to poor soil conditions - already then. From our present perspective, almost a century later, with processed foods having crowded out even more whole plant-based foods from our diet, and from knowing that our soils are yet more mineral deficient, the picture looks even worse. When I was a kid it was quite rare for children to get braces; now it seems so ubiquitous.
The message is clear - cut out the sugar, increase your veggies, and opt for organics if you can, since plant-based organic foods have a considerably higher mineral and vitamin content. The Weston Price study shows that your grandchildren will thank you for it.