With the immediate availability of prepared foods and snacks, it may have become more difficult to monitor what your child consumes. But it is critically important to their overall and dental health to watch what they eat and drink, make sure they are brushing and flossing every day and visiting your children’s dentist every six months for cleaning and checkup.
Many foods and drinks are labeled as “healthy” but unless you read food labels it is difficult to know. Getting back to basics by offering fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy like yogurt or cheese snacks, whole grains and nuts (of course, be aware of allergies), and plenty of water to stay hydrated are the optimum alternatives to prepackaged snacks and drinks.
A healthy, tooth-friendly diet will include calcium enriched foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and lean protein. Your body needs calcium, so if you aren’t getting it through your diet, your teeth become the available source for the body to steal what it needs. Lack of calcium in your teeth can lead to dental decay and even gum disease.
Vitamins are essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums … fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins. Crunchy fruits and vegetables have the added bonus of actually scrubbing teeth to help reduce plaque build-up.
Water is best for quenching thirst and keeping the body hydrated; although bottled water lacks fluoride provided by tap water, it is still a better choice than sugary drinks, juices, or soda. You can add flavor to water by infusing it with fruit or one of the many sugar free flavored drink mixes available.
The list of foods to avoid is very extensive … sugary snacks like candy, cookies, or ice cream should be saved for special occasions and not consumed on a daily basis. The same goes for soda, which is unhealthy due to its sugar and acidic content. Many prepared foods that are not that high in sugar content should still be limited as the carbohydrates in them will cling to the bacteria already present in your mouth and allow harmful plaque to build on teeth.
Pediatric dentistry teaches the value the daily brushing and flossing which you can reinforce. Provide a tooth friendly diet and make sure your family sees the dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.
For more teeth tips, contact our team today!