Parents want their kids to have strong teeth and overall good health. Food choices play a big role in children’s body and oral health. Foods that are high in sugar, like candy, cookies, simple carbs and starches can increase the chances of cavities in children. Sugary foods combine with mouth bacteria and produce acids that can dissolve protective tooth enamel. These foods also cling longer on teeth, which is why they are more likely to cause decay. Children should always brush after meals and sticky, sugary snacks for strong teeth.
Dentists like these foods for strong teeth
Children who choose healthy snacks have fit bodies and strong teeth. The best food and drink choices are usually crisp and high in calcium and vitamins.
Raw vegetables and fruits
Unlike sticky snacks, raw produce is ideal for strong teeth. These vegetables and fruits usually have high water content and require longer chewing. This neutralizes acids in the mouth. Crisp fruits and vegetables also scrub away plaque. However, bananas and raisins are not ideal; they are sticky and have more sugar than other options.
Seeds and nuts
The crunchiness of seeds and nuts has the same kind of scrubbing benefit like raw fruits and vegetables. Natural fats in seeds and nuts can shield against bacteria. Additionally, seeds and nuts are vitamin-rich for strong teeth. Peanuts and almonds have calcium and walnuts are rich in iron, potassium, and many other vitamins. Most seeds, like sunflower and sesame, also contain calcium.
Cheeses and yogurt promote strong teeth by producing saliva in the mouth. Saliva lowers acid levels in the mouth and helps to prevent cavities. Also, dairy is full of calcium, which strengthens bones (including the bones around the teeth) and repairs enamel. Milk is a dairy product with the same strong teeth benefits, but children should not drink milk before bed without brushing or sleep with a bottle. Milk pools in the gums and can lead to decay if left overnight.
Sugar free gum
Yes, gum can be good for the teeth – if it is sugar free. If your child is above age 4, it is okay to say yes to sugarless gum. The American Dental Association gave its seal of acceptance to several sugarless gum brands after several studies showed the benefits. Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after eating will increase saliva and loosen plaque.
Dentists and doctors both encourage children to drink plenty of water. Water is the best drink for strong teeth. Saliva breaks down harmful acids in the mouth and water does the same. Juices and sodas contain a lot of sugar, but water rinses the mouth and removes food particles. Water may also contain fluoride, which is good for teeth.
Kids enjoy sweets and carbohydrate snacks, so encouraging healthy eating is not always easy for parents. Remind children to limit sugary treats. Teach them to brush their teeth after especially sugary or sticky foods. For more tips, visit Nutrition and Your Child’s Teeth via WebMD.