What your child eats affects not only their health but also teeth and gums. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the type of foods your children eat at home and also at school lunches. Below are six foods/ categories that you can add to your diet to strengthen your child’s oral health.
1. Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C strengthens the gums by providing them with collagen. Furthermore, it helps to kill the bacteria in the mouth. The oral cavity contains high amounts of bacteria, which increases the risk of gum disease.
You can get vitamin C from oranges, lime, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green peppers, and Brussels sprouts are also rich in vitamin c.
2. Vitamin D Rich Foods
Vitamin D balances calcium and phosphorus levels. Calcium is an essential mineral needed by the teeth. Vitamin D also helps to decrease inflammation in the gums, which is linked to periodontal disease.
Dairy products, eggs, oily fish like tuna and sardines, and natural sunlight are rich in vitamin D.
3. Crisp Vegetables
Crisp vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, and green beans are chewy foods that help clean the teeth and gums. These foods will help to scrape the plaque away that builds up between meals. Include these foods in every meal, and encourage your child to eat slowly and chew the foods all through.
4. Sugarless gums
Gums helps to increase saliva production in the mouth. Saliva loosens plaques and helps to get rid of food particles left in the mouth. It is beneficial to have your child chew sugarless gum after a meal to increase saliva, which reduces the risk of decay. But, only give gum to children above 4 years.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to fight the bad bacteria found in the oral cavity. When giving yogurt, ensure it is sugar-free.
6. Calcium foods
Calcium is needed to keep the teeth healthy and hold them in place. But, calcium needs phosphorous for effective absorption. The teeth need both minerals to form the hard structure of the teeth.
Dairy foods, like cheese, milk, and yogurt, brown rice, cabbage, oranges, broccoli, and salmon are rich in calcium.
Cereals, soya beans, almonds, nuts, meat, poultry, eggs, and grapes, are rich in phosphorous.
Avoid foods like raisins, granola bars, dried figs, jelly beans, caramel, honey, syrup, and peanut butter cookies. This is because these foods will stick on the teeth and make it hard to clean them away. If your child consumes them, ensure they brush immediately to avoid plaques from accumulating.
The bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar. Plus, the bacteria break down the food and produce an acid solution. This solution will attack the teeth, weaken them, and make them prone to decay.
Avoid giving your children lollipops, cough drops, mints, and hard candies. If you will be serving high-sugar foods, serve them with foods and not as snacks. There is an increase in the production of saliva that will wash the sugar away.
Also, reduce the amount of time your children snack. Frequent snacking provides constant fuel for bacteria, which leads to decay.
While it is important to give proper foods, you also have to keep your child’s oral health.
It is vital to visit a pediatric dentist in Taylor for regular exams and cleaning. This will help the dentist to detect any cavities and begin treatment on time.
We recommend fluoride varnish treatment for children above six years. Fluoride strengthens the enamel and reduces the risk of decay. For children below age six, fluoride toothpaste, mouth wash, and fluoridated water will suffice.
Sealants protect the teeth from bacterial attacks and cavities. These plastic coatings are recommended for children with permanent teeth. Those with dental fillings are not eligible for dental sealants.
Visit Golnick Pediatric Dentistry for more information on how to support and maintain your child’s oral health.