Maintaining natural dentition is a realistic goal given today's improved caries control and attention to good oral hygiene. Expanding knowledge in the area of periodontal diseases provides further insight into health promotion practices which can be effective in preventing tooth loss. Vitamin C's role in maintaining the health of teeth and gingivae remains unchallenged. Now clinical evidence indicates that vitamin C functions in improving host defence mechanisms and is thereby implicated in preserving periodontal health. Common sense tells us that the monitoring of the vitamin C status of individuals, especially those at high risk (e.g., diabetics, smokers, elderly, etc.) for inadequate intakes, will yield positive results for periodontal health. Patient education programs that stress the importance of good nutrition, while at the same time providing practical information for the selection of a well balanced diet, are simple measures that will benefit many.