As dental hygienists we know that sugar, sweets, and carbonated beverages increase the risk of caries whereas fruits and vegetables stimulate saliva production to wash away food and neutralize acids in the mouth. Additionally, we know that water is a better alternative to soda pop. Soda pop, diet or regular, includes tooth damaging acids and, in the case of the latter, also contains large quantities of sugar which can promote tooth decay.
The general public understands that foods high in sugar and fat, excess salt and carbonated, sugary, beverages do not promote optimal health and wellness. On the flip side, most people understand that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, low fat dairy products and meat alternatives (like beans, lentils and other legumes) contributes to overall health wellness and lowers the risk of many diseases.