Parents always want to be able to give the best to their children. The same is true when it comes to food and nutrition. A balanced and healthy diet is essential to our children’s growth and development. Also, some foods are particularly good for our children’s developing teeth and gums. Here are twenty foods that are good for them:
Apple: Apples are high in fiber and water that can rinse and brush away plaque and tartar buildup from our children’s teeth. The fibrous texture of an apple also stimulates the gums. Crunchy apples are also high in vitamins and minerals.
Carrots: Like apples, carrots are high in fiber. Letting your child eat raw carrots after mealtime or as a snack increases saliva production in your child’s mouth. Carrots act like toothbrushes and help clean your child’s teeth. Since it stimulates saliva, carrots can help rinse cavity-causing plaques and bacteria in the mouth. Carrots are also high in vitamin A.
Celery: Celery is known as a natural dental floss. A celery stick’s fibrous and crunchy texture helps clean the teeth. It acts like a toothbrush too, removing food debris and plaque away from your child’s developing teeth. Celery is also a good source of Vitamins A and C which make the gums healthy.
Milk: Milk is one of the best drinks that you can give your child for healthier teeth. Milk is rich in calcium and other minerals. Milk lowers the mouth’s acidity level. This combats tooth decay, especially for young children. Just make sure to let your child drink some water afterward to rinse it off as well.
Cheese: Cheese is said to be among the best foods for stronger and healthier teeth in children. Cheese is high in calcium which helps in keeping bone density healthy. Cheese is also high in phosphate that balances the mouth’s pH levels. Cheese possesses a protein called casein that fortifies the tooth enamel.
Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of calcium and probiotics that shield the teeth against cavities and plaque buildup. Yogurt also helps in combatting bad breath and gum disease. Kids love yogurt. Mix a few fruit cubes or berries into the yogurt for extra nutrition and your child’s breakfast or snack is good to go.
Broccoli: We know that kids do not like to eat their vegetables, more so broccoli. But we highly recommend that you encourage your kids to eat them. Broccoli is high in vitamins C and K which are essential in bone health and blood flow.
Spinach: Green, leafy veggies like spinach provide a ton of health benefits to our kids. Spinach is high in iron and beta-carotene that help make stronger teeth. Spinach is also an excellent antioxidant that our bodies need to keep healthy.
Kale: Kale is a very good source of calcium, folic acid, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Kale can help keep our kids’ teeth and gums healthy. Just like the other crunchy, green, leafy vegetables above, kale helps in cleaning the teeth and gums.
Almonds: Nuts, in general, are full of health benefits for our kids’ developing teeth as they are rich in calcium and phosphorus. Eating almonds is beneficial for your child’s teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein. Almonds also help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth that can lead to tooth decay.
Cranberries: Cranberries are rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that hinders plaque buildup in the mouth. Fresh cranberries are especially good at stopping plaque formation after your child’s meal. A little reminder though as some dried cranberries are packed with added sugar so you may want to be on the lookout for that when buying such for your child.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are bad breath fighters. They are fibrous and crunchy, hence cleanses the teeth and gums when eaten. Cucumber also is high on water content which prevents mouth dryness. Eating cucumbers also help in saliva production.
Oranges: Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, the vitamin that is essential in keeping our bodies’ connective tissues healthy, such as in the gums. The Vitamin C content of oranges can prevent swollen or bleeding gums.
Strawberries: Strawberries contain malic acid, a good natural whitener for the tooth enamel and help your child’s teeth become stain-free. On the other hand, just make sure that you let your child floss after eating them as strawberries have tiny seeds that can get stuck between the teeth.
Salmon: Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. Salmon is known to be good for the heart. With vitamin D, salmon can also help to make your child’s teeth and jawbones stronger.
Pears: Just like apples, pears are crunchy and fibrous. They can help cleanse the teeth and increase saliva flow. Pears also neutralize the mouth’s acidity and lessen the chances of tooth decay.
Tuna: Most fish are high in vitamin D which is essential in calcium absorption of the body. When kids eat tuna and other kinds of fish, these will provide substantial health benefits to their developing teeth and growing bodies.
Eggs: Calcium, protein, and Vitamin D are essential in building and maintaining stronger and healthier teeth. The good news is that all of these can be found in eggs. Egg yolks are rich in vitamin D that aids the body to absorb the calcium and other minerals needed to protect the tooth enamel.
Sugarless Gum: This may come in as a surprise. But sugarless gum can provide some dental benefits to our kids. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production which in turn loosens the plaque buildup in the mouth and prevents the mouth and gums from getting dry. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help prevent tooth decay. Take note though that children below 4 should not be allowed to chew gum yet as they might swallow it.
Water: Drinking water is always good for the body. It helps the body stay hydrated. Saliva is 95% water. Always make sure to let your child drink water with his or her meals. This keeps the mouth rehydrated, rinsing away any food debris. Water has no calories nor sugar, making it the best choice to drink every time.
Your child’s food intake and diet greatly contribute to his or her overall health. The kind of food that your child takes in also makes a big difference when it comes to achieving stronger and healthier teeth and gums.
Best and Worst Foods for Healthy Children’s Teeth, Unity Point https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=1bbcf46c-2d97-4195-8e7c-c2c6a42662c8
Foods that Strengthen Kids’ Teeth, Parents.com https://www.parents.com/health/dental/smile-savers/
Healthy Foods List: Seven Best Foods for Your Teeth, Colgate https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/healthy-foods-list-seven-best-foods-foryour-teeth-0214
The Best Foods for A Healthy Smile and Whole Body, UIC College of Dentistry https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/healthy-foods