Dietary Recommendations for Children for Healthy Teeth
Helping your child keep their teeth healthy is about more than just brushing and flossing. While these habits are essential, they are only one part of maintaining optimal oral health. What your child eats is also important. Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City can help with a list of foods to eat to help your child keep their teeth healthy.
Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, are some of the best foods for the dental health of your child. These products are high in calcium, phosphates, and vitamin D. Calcium is an essential mineral for the strength of their teeth and the health of their developing jawbone. It also helps to remineralize their teeth and ensure the strength of their tooth enamel, allowing the teeth to more effectively fight off acid attacks from plaque and oral bacteria. Dairy products can also help to neutralize acids in the mouth. This helps to increase the pH level, which helps to prevent the development of cavities. Cheese in particular can play another role. It helps to stimulate salivary flow. Saliva aids in killing oral bacteria and washing it away while also helping to remineralize and strengthen their teeth.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, collards, and other dark, leafy greens are high in calcium, iron, and antioxidants. Just like the calcium in dairy, the calcium in these leafy greens can help your child to keep their teeth strong. The antioxidants found in these foods help to fight bacteria and prevent inflammation of their gums, which can otherwise lead to gum disease. Getting children to eat greens can be a bit challenging. However, you can help to make them a bit more palatable by hiding them in sauces or blending them into smoothies.
Fruits and Veggies that are Hard and Crunchy
Hard and crunchy fruits and vegetables like raw apples, celery, and carrots all act like a natural toothbrush. As you chew these foods, they scrub the surfaces of your teeth. This aids in reducing plaque and bacteria buildup, which helps to protect the teeth from decay and cavities. These foods also contain many vitamins and minerals, which can help your child to keep their teeth, mouth, and whole body healthy. Keep these types of foods on hand for an afterschool snack or a snack between meals.
Drink Plenty of Water
Along with a healthy, well-balanced diet, it is also important that your child drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for ensuring that your child maintains proper salivary flow. Drinking water also aids in rinsing away food particles and bacteria from their mouth. Provide your child with a special water bottle that they can keep with them at all time. Have them help you choose one that they will like, which will increase the likelihood that they will use it. You can also use fruit to infuse their water and give it some flavor.
If you have any questions or concerns about what your child should eat, and what they should avoid, to keep their teeth healthy and their smile beautiful, we can help. Call Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City at 971-470-0045 for more information today.