What Foods to Eat and Avoid for A Child’s Dental Health?
Dental health for children is not any less important than that of adults, even though sometimes people view it as so. If anything, dental care for children should be prioritized since it shapes the future of their oral health. Many Rutherford dentists will tell you that kids will excellent oral health have less likelihood of suffering dental issues in the future.
The Role of Food in Dental Health
You can never reach the epitome of excellent dental health if you are not mindful of the foods you eat. General dental care is not sufficient to keep your oral cavity healthy. Therefore, aside from the routine dental exams and cleanings at Tailor-Made Smiles, make intentional moves with foods for dental care.
Food gets into your body through the mouth. Therefore, the foods you consume regularly impact your oral cavity directly. The goal should be to choose foods that help strengthen your teeth and boost your general body health.
Choosing Foods for children
As a parent, it is your sole responsibility to feed your child healthy foods until they are old enough to choose between good and bad. The way you train them to eat during their early years will impact their likes and interests in the future. Besides, understand that children will have an inclination to sweet foods more than the healthier options. Therefore, find ways to make healthy foods fun for children so it does not become a tug of war to get them to eat healthily. Some tips for reinforcing healthy eating habits are:
- Start early – the early you train your child to eat healthily, the easier it will be to keep them on that path. It is harder to get your child to abandon bad oral habits once they have been at it for a long time.
- Mind about food aesthetics – children have an eye for toys. It is why candy companies create fun-looking bars. Employ a similar approach by cutting fruits and vegetables into fun pieces that your child can enjoy.
- Eat together – dining as a family is a great way to encourage healthy eating. Children often like to eat the same things their parents are eating. Therefore, if you want your child to enjoy healthy meals, eat the same meals. Better yet, ensure you are eating at the same time.
- Make flavorful meals – no one wants to eat blunt food. If you can make foods sweet-tasting, your child will enjoy eating broccoli and spinach at the expense of candies.
- Only store healthy foods in your house – if your child can easily find a candy bar in the pantry, they will have no reason to grab a fruit.
- Try different foods – your child may not particularly enjoy broccoli, but that does not mean they will not want to eat spinach or kale. Experiment with different foods until you find healthy ones that your child enjoys.
Foods Your Child Should Avoid
If you are mindful of your child’s oral health, ensure they avoid the following foods:
- Hard foods like ice cubes or popcorn kernels – can break, crack, or chip teeth.
- Sticky foods like chewing gum or caramel – can easily get stuck in the pits and fissures of teeth.
- Sweets and candy – have incredibly high levels of sugars that trigger acid-causing bacteria to form dental cavities on teeth.
- Citrus fruits – have an extremely high level of acidity that erodes the enamels and promotes enamel thinning.
- Fruit juices – typically contain high sugar levels and acidity, both of which are a recipe for dental decay.
Foods to Eat for A Healthy Smile
When you master the art of healthy foods, you will not have a lot of struggles with your child’s dental health. Some foods your child must eat to maintain strong and healthy teeth include:
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese – are rich in calcium that builds strong teeth and bones.
- Raw fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, celery, and cucumbers – the crunchiness of such foods helps remove food residues from your teeth’ surfaces.
- Water-rich foods like melons and pears – the high water content in such fruits boosts hydration and helps neutralize acidity in the mouth.
- Eggs – are a great protein source while also providing vitamin D and phosphorus necessary for strong teeth.
- Water – if your child is thirsty, encourage them to have water instead of juices.