Your child’s diet has a huge impact on the health of their tooth. 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.
Dark green, leafy vegetables are often very high in calcium. Calcium is a critical component when it comes to oral health, because it serves to strengthen and remineralize the 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, especially crunchy ones, can similarly benefit the health of the teeth.
Some fruits can do more damage than good to the 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 tends to scrub against the teeth, which functions 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 off of the teeth.
Take Care of What you Drink
The substances that your child drinks often have a large impact on their overall oral health. For example, a child that sips on soda throughout the day is far more likely to sustain cavities and have many additional oral health problems. The same problem is often found with juice, because juice often contains high levels of sugar. Regularly drinking water, however, can be beneficial for the 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. However, it is critical to ensure that you only chew sugarless gum. If you regularly chew gum that contains sugar, it is likely to have a significantly different impact on the health of your teeth.
Many various dairy products can be extremely beneficial for the health of your child’s teeth. Yogurt, in particular, contains probiotics, which can be referred to as “good bacteria.” When you add this to the bacteria culture in the mouth, it often overtakes the harmful bacteria. This can substantially improve the health of the gums. In addition, yogurt contains high levels of calcium and protein which can substantially help to improve the strength of the teeth. It is important to choose a plain variety that doesn’t contain sugar to provide the most benefits to the mouth.
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 the teeth.
Many types of meat can be beneficial to the health of the teeth, due to the high levels of protein that they contain. Fish, in particular, helps to protect the health of the teeth. Consuming high amounts of calcium won’t do much if the body doesn’t effectively absorb the calcium. This is one of the ways in which fish can be particularly helpful. Fish often contains high levels of vitamin D. Consuming vitamin D often helps the body to absorb calcium more effectively.
Though dark green vegetables are certainly good for the teeth, other vegetables can also be beneficial for the health of the teeth. Celery is one example of a vegetable that will improve oral health. This food is incredibly crunchy and fibrous, which helps it to act like a toothbrush and scrub food particles from the surface of the 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 excellent nutrition, regular dental cleanings are important in protecting the health of their teeth. It is similarly important to follow an effective oral hygiene routine in order to improve oral health. The various methods for improving the health of the teeth are important in preventing substantial oral health issues later on. Contact our experts to learn more about how you can protect your child’s oral health and instill good habits early on.