While teaching children to brush their teeth every day is very important, did you know that what kids eat can also impact their oral health? Indeed, there specific foods that contain the vitamins and minerals children need to maintain a healthy smile. Want to know more? Here some insights from a dentist regarding which foods can protect and preserve your children’s oral health.
Pick the Right Fruits and Veggies
Replacing starchy snacks like pretzels and potato chips with fruits and vegetables is an easy step in a healthier direction. However, some fruits and vegetables are better than others when it comes to oral health. For example, bananas and raisins contain concentrated sugar. A better choice for a healthy snack would be fruits or vegetables that contain a high volume of water, such as pears, melons, celery, or cucumbers.
The Power of Dairy
Cheese sticks and other dairy products are also outstanding smile-friendly snacks for children. Cheese, yogurt, and milk are often low in sugar and rich in calcium, which can help strengthen your children’s teeth and protect them from decay. In addition, cheese is a naturally chewy food that helps trigger the flow of saliva. Saliva production is important because it helps wash food particles away from teeth. Some non-dairy foods are also excellent sources of calcium, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, and spinach.
Avoid Sticky Foods
The longer sugar stays on or near the teeth, the higher the risk of tooth decay becomes. For this reason, avoid giving your children sticky foods such as jelly beans, caramel, syrup, or peanut butter cookies. These sticky foods linger on the teeth and are not easily washed away by saliva. If your children do eat these types of sweets, make sure that they brush their teeth afterward.
Limit Sugary Drinks
Soda, juice, and even most popular sports drinks all contain high levels of sugar. Whenever possible, serve your children water or milk instead. Milk is a rich source of calcium, which strengthens tooth enamel. Meanwhile, water can help wash away sugar and food particles after eating. In addition, in many communities, water straight from the tap contains fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral strengthens teeth and reduces the risk of tooth decay.
Serve Treats with Meals
Finally, when your children consume sugary treats is also important. Snacking throughout the day gives constant fuel to feed oral bacteria, which can easily lead to harmful plaque buildup. If possible, try to limit your kids’ snacking and only serve sweets alongside or shortly after meals. Eating a full meal stimulates saliva production, so by the time your children eat their dessert, the increased amount of saliva will help wash sugar away from their teeth.
Building good oral health habits, including healthy eating habits, starts at a young age. To learn more about healthy foods and other tips to improve your children’s oral health, do not hesitate to contact your dentist!
About the Practice
The experienced team at Dulce Dental provides quality oral care to patients of all ages. From young children to retired grandparents, everyone is welcome at their conveniently located Dallas practice. For more advice on how to boost children’s oral health, visit the Dulce Dental website or call 214-337-0153.