August 22, 2022
We are often told by our dentists to limit candy, soda and other sugary treats as this can lead to tooth decay. Sometimes with kids, it is easy to toss them a fruit snack or a juice box as a quick snack. As convenient as these quick snacks are, they are not the best choices for your child’s teeth, we should try and choose the healthier alternative snacks. What are these healthier alternatives?
Lets start with your child’s beverage choice. Juice may be a tasty drink for your kids at breakfast, but juice contains a lot of sugar, and depending on the type of juice it can be very acidic as well. Sugary and acidic juices are your child’s teeth’s worst nightmare, as the acid can erode the enamel on their teeth, and the sugar can cause tooth decay. So what is the healthier option going to be? You probably guessed it; WATER and MILK are the way to
go. It is clear why water is the better choice, but milk is a great alternative because it is rich in calcium and protein, which strengthen teeth, ant it is low in sugar. So instead of that glass of orange juice with breakfast or the lemonade at lunch, pour your child a glass of milk or a glass of water.
Now lets talk about foods that are going to benefit your child’s dental health. Dairy products, other than milk, like cheese and yogurt are good for your teeth as well, since they are a good source of calcium and protein. When it comes to yogurt, try and choose plain yogurts with no added sugar. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, calcium-fortified tofu and almonds also contain calcium, along with other nutrients, that are going to be good for your child’s oral health. Lean proteins like fish, poultry, eggs and other lean meats are a great source of phosphorus. What does phosphorus do for my child’s oral health? This mineral plays an important role; it protects, strengthens and rebuilds tooth enamel. We all know that adding more fruits and vegetables to our child’s diet has great nutritional value, but how does it benefit their oral health? Fruits and vegetables have high water content and contain high amounts of fiber as well. This high water and fiber content helps to “balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth.” 2 Fruits and veggies also stimulate saliva production, this helps wash away food particles, neutralize acid and wash away harmful acids that would otherwise cause tooth decay. Many fruits and vegetables are important in gum health because they contain vitamin C. They may also contain vitamin A, which is an important nutrient in building tooth enamel. By adding a few more carrots to their dinner plate, or a sliced apple for a snack, your child’s smile will benefit greatly.
Now that we know what kind of foods can help keep our children’s teeth healthy, we need to remember to make sure their teeth are getting brushed twice a day. Just because fruits and veggies can help eliminate damaging acid, it wont get it all, that is where brushing and flossing come in handy. For more information on foods that are good for oral health, please ask your pediatric dentist, or visit the links below.
1. Healthy Foods List: Seven Best Foods For Your Teeth – Colgate Oral Care Center
2. Nutrition: What You Eat Affects Your Teeth – Mouth Healthy (ADA)
3. Good Foods for Dental Health – Mouth Healthy (ADA)