Nutrition is the science of consuming healthy foods to get the right energy (calories), nutrients, and minerals. A balanced diet can safeguard children’s dental health and is necessary for a healthy body. Sugary snacks and drinks fuel bacteria that produce acid, which eats away tooth enamel and contributes to cavities. Getting your kids to snack less and choose healthier options like low-fat milk, cheese, and fruits will help them maintain their best smiles.
A well-balanced diet, consistent brushing, and regularly visiting pediatric dentistry can significantly impact a child’s dental health. However, there are some foods that parents should limit or avoid altogether to protect their children’s teeth and gums. Certain foods can erode tooth enamel and cause decay because they are acidic or have high sugar content. Limiting sugary snacks and beverages is essential to protecting your kids’ teeth. Additionally, whole fruits are a better choice than juice because they contain fiber, which can help reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s mouth. Water is also a great choice as it washes away food debris and helps neutralize bacteria in the mouth.
Snacks & Beverages
The foods and drinks children consume affect their overall health and dental care. Spring pediatric dentists recommend limiting sugary snacks and beverages, which can cause tooth decay and other problems. Sugar-filled foods encourage oral bacteria to produce acid, which erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities. Limiting these snacks and choosing healthy alternatives like low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy greens, and fortified foods is a great way to promote good dental health. Children should also avoid eating sticky or chewy foods that can get stuck between teeth, increasing their risk of tooth decay. Instead, choose fruits and vegetables that stimulate saliva flow to wash out food particles and neutralize acids.
Many children are told, “Drink your milk, and you’ll have strong bones.” Building strong teeth and bones requires the mineral calcium. Calcium is also necessary to form tooth enamel, which protects teeth from decay and bacteria. It is recommended that kids consume two and a half cups of dairy products daily for this purpose. Snacks that encourage chewing, like cheese, can promote saliva flow and help reduce bacteria in the mouth, as can consuming crunchy foods like apples, carrots, celery, and nuts. Avoiding sugary snacks and beverages can also decrease the risk of tooth decay.
Foods rich in phosphorus promote healthy teeth by helping to build up tooth enamel. Cavities-causing bacteria are warded off by tooth enamel. Phosphorus works with calcium to strengthen teeth, so it is important to consume both of these nutrients regularly. Low-fat dairy products, leafy greens, and meats are excellent sources of calcium. You can also make healthy smoothies with fruits and vegetables or prepare fruit and vegetable skewers for a tasty snack.
Overindulgence in sugary meals and beverages can aggravate dental conditions like tooth decay. Limiting sugary snacks, sodas, and candies will help prevent tooth decay.
Fruits & Vegetables
It’s no secret that diet and nutrition significantly impact children’s oral health. Too much sugar from candy, soda, and juices lingers on teeth, encouraging bacteria growth, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Maintaining a well-balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products helps your child maintain optimal oral health. Drinking plenty of water, which washes away food particles and neutralizes mouth acids, is also beneficial. Lastly, offering whole fruits instead of their juice form encourages fiber and nutrients that help keep teeth healthy.
Meats & Dairy
Nutrient-dense meats, dairy products, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can give kids the vitamins and minerals they need to promote healthy teeth. Avoiding sticky foods and beverages, like sugary snacks or soda, can help reduce the risk of dental cavities by limiting bacteria’s ability to create acids that damage tooth enamel. Even starchy foods like potatoes or bread break down into simple sugars that put teeth at risk for decay, so it is best to stick with a diet of nutrient-dense foods. Snacks that stimulate saliva flow, such as cheese, also boost oral health by carrying away food particles and reducing the amount of acid produced in the mouth.
Kids who don’t get enough vitamin D are more likely to develop dental cavities. Optimal vitamin D promotes calcium and phosphate absorption in the body, which helps support teeth and bone health. Foods with acid can erode teeth and lead to cavities, so your child must limit the amount of sugary sodas, sweetened beverages, or other high-acid foods they consume. Chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva flow, neutralizes acids, and prevents tooth decay. Offer whole fruits and vegetables over fruit juices, which contain more sugar. Also, please encourage your child to eat snacks and meals regularly rather than grazing on them throughout the day.