What Your Child Eats and Drinks Can Impact their Teeth

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A well-balanced diet is vital for general health and wellness. The food we eat supplies the nutrients to our body — including teeth and gums. If the diet is low in nutrients, the body may have a difficult time resisting infection, illness, and disease.

Your lifestyle, unhealthy food choices, fad diets, and large amounts of sugar can have health repercussions. A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starch significantly contribute to the production of plaque acid that attacks the tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.

Children need a balanced and nutritious diet for their teeth to be cavity resistant and to develop properly. Most toddlers are drawn to sweet foods full of refined carbohydrates. Sugar lurks in places you would not expect, such as in cereals or sports drinks. Even yogurts can also be packed with sugar. If you want to reduce sugar in their diet, start looking at the labels in your pantry. Ingredients are always listed by concentration, from highest to lowest. Avoid foods and beverages that listed sugar as the first, second, or third ingredient. Instead, pack your kid’s lunch box with healthy food choices such as apples or cheese. Nutritious food gives your child the fuel they need to play and learn, at the same time, keeping their teeth healthy as well.

Be careful what they sip on as beverages can also contain high amounts of sugar that may stain their teeth. Drinking too much juice can coat the teeth with sugar. Children should drink water after eating as this keeps them hydrated and helps flush out toxins from the mouth.

Encourage your child to eat more fruits and vegetables than foods high in sugar. Some foods are far less likely to contribute to cavities. It provides nutrients that increase tooth protection while others help clean the teeth.

Foods That Help Keep Teeth Clean and Healthy Include:

  1. Fruits and vegetables: Crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables, such as apples and carrots, can help remove bacteria that adhere to the surface of the teeth. Melon, celery, pear, and cucumber have high water content, which helps clean teeth and promote overall health.
  2. Protein: Lean meat such as chicken, turkey, and whitefish are an excellent source of protein which helps strengthen tooth enamel. Nuts and peanut butter that are low in sugar also provide protein and are a quick energy source for kids.
  3. Calcium-rich foods: Low-fat dairy products such as cheese and skim milk are an excellent source of calcium, which is crucial for building healthy teeth.

Tips for Keeping Strong and Healthy Teeth:

  1. Limit snacking: Refrain from eating snacks in between meals. Eating frequently without brushing allows food to stay on teeth, which fuels the growth of bacteria. Excessive snacking also makes it difficult for the mouth to create saliva to keep teeth clean adequately.
  2. Drink lots of water: Make it a habit to give your child water instead of sweetened beverages.
  3. If chewing gum, choose sugarless: Chewing gum that is sugar-free can have benefits to your
    teeth. The chewing action can dislodge food and help saliva flow, which neutralizes acid in your
    mouth.

Together, with regular brushing and flossing, as well as encouraging a healthy and well-balanced diet at an early age will help your child form lifelong good habits.

We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.

You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.

Sources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/teeth-care-for-toddlers-tryingtooth-friendly-foods-1013

https://www.thekidsdentistmequon.com/dental-topic/eating-healthy-to-promote-strong-teeth-in-children/

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/nutrition-and-oralhealth#:~:text=A%20bidirectional%20relationship%20exists%20between,risk%20of%20developing%20de
ntal%20caries.

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