Your child’s diet has a huge impact on the health of their teeth. It is common knowledge that foods that are high in sugar, like candy or soda, are likely to lead to tooth decay. However, there are other foods that can actually improve the health of the teeth when eaten on a regular basis. Understanding what foods these are can help you to make the best nutritional choices to improve your child’s oral health.
Important Foods to Avoid to Improve Oral Health
Sugar has an adverse reaction to harmful bacteria in the mouth. It often provides fuel for the bacteria, which eats away at the protective enamel layer of the teeth. Due to this, it is important to avoid candy and sticky foods as much as possible. Candy contains high levels of sugar. Sticky foods are likely to become stuck to the surface of the teeth. When this occurs, the food particles will accelerate the accumulation of plaque and damage to the teeth. Avoiding these foods can go a long way toward improving oral health.
Most green, leafy vegetables are very high in calcium. Calcium is a critical component when it comes to oral health, because it serves to strengthen and remineralize your teeth. This helps to prevent damage to the enamel layer that helps to protect the interior of the tooth. Try making a salad with some dark green veggies. Adding additional vegetables can similarly benefit the health of your teeth.
Some fruits can do more damage than good for teeth, especially those with high sugar levels or acidic juices. However, other fruits can be exceptionally beneficial for the teeth. Crunchy fruits, like pears or apples, are valuable additions to your child’s diet. The crunchy texture of the fruit scrubs against the teeth, acting very similarly to a toothbrush. This can help to dislodge stuck food particles and enhance the condition of the teeth. In addition, these fruits boast a rather high water content. The increased water content serves to buffer, or neutralize, acidic substances and aids in flushing food particles of the teeth.
Think about What You Drink
What your child drinks has a large impact on their overall oral health. For example, a child that sips on soda or juice throughout the day is far more likely to sustain cavities and have many additional oral health problems. Regularly drinking water, however, can be beneficial for teeth. Water helps to flush out harmful particles and protects the teeth. Milk can also be helpful to the teeth. Adding calcium to your child’s diet helps to strengthen teeth and bones alike.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Sugarless gum can be incredibly beneficial to the health of the teeth. When you chew sugarless gum between meals, you are less likely to reach for a sugary treat. In addition, chewing gum helps to increase your saliva production. This helps to flush harmful bacteria and food particles out from the surface of the teeth.
Dairy products are good your child’s teeth. Yogurt contains probiotics, often referred to as “good bacteria.” When you add this to the bacteria culture in the mouth, it often overtakes harmful bacteria. This can substantially improve the health of the gums. Yogurt also contains high levels of calcium and protein which strengthen teeth.
Cheese is another dairy product that can improve oral health. Cheese helps to neutralize acids present in the mouth, which prevents them from damaging the teeth. It also contains protein and calcium that can strengthen the enamel layer of your teeth.
Many types of meat can be beneficial to the health of teeth, due to the high levels of protein that they contain. Fish, in particular, helps to protect the health of your teeth. Consuming high amounts of calcium won’t do much if the body doesn’t effectively absorb the calcium. Fish often contains high levels of vitamin D, help the body absorb calcium more effectively.
Celery is incredibly crunchy and fibrous, which helps it to act like a toothbrush and scrub food particles from the surface of your teeth. Celery is also a good source of both vitamin A and C, which helps to provide antioxidants that can improve the health of the gums.
Nutrition has a huge impact on the health of the teeth. Adding certain foods to your child’s diet can go a long way toward preventing cavities and gum disease, as well as strengthening the enamel layer of the teeth. Our team at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to providing your child with superior services to improve oral health. In addition to good nutrition, regular dental cleanings are important in protecting the health of their teeth. Contact our experts to learn more about how you can protect your child’s oral health and instill good habits early on.