A balanced diet for kids is essential in building strong and healthy teeth. Apart from other important vitamins and minerals, your child’s meal should have plenty of calcium and Vitamin D and the right amount of fluoride. Calcium helps strengthen the bones, with Vitamin D increasing mineral absorption. Fluoride, on the other hand, offers protection against tooth decay.
Walker Pediatric Dentistry and other pediatric dentists in Salt Lake City note that your child can get enough calcium from about three to four servings of dairy foods or drinks daily. Good sources include milk, green vegetables (broccoli, kale, and spinach), calcium-fortified orange juice, and calcium-processed tofu. Fluoride, meanwhile, is found in fluoridated water, supplements, and toothpaste.
No to Constant Snacking
Protecting your child’s oral health means avoiding frequent snacking. This is because snacks and treats like chocolates, cookies, chips, crackers, and fruit juices are loaded with sugars and starches. These combine with plaque on teeth to create acids, which then attack the tooth enamel, leading to cavities and tooth erosion.
It is important to know that acid attacks can last for about 20 minutes after a meal or snack. Even a small sugary treat can cause plaque acid, so it is best to avoid snacking between meals. If your kid has munched on a sugary food, encourage them to drink water after to rinse out their mouth and wash away the sugar and acid.
Teeth’s Worst Enemies
Both refined and unrefined sugar can damage the teeth. The mouth’s worst enemies are those in sticky foods that cling to teeth like candies and dried fruits. Sweetened juice drinks and soft drinks are bad too since they wash and coat the teeth with sugar. Cereals and starchy foods like white bread leave a residue that the bacteria in the mouth rapidly convert to sugar.
Protect your child’s oral health with a balanced diet and avoiding frequent snacking. You should also encourage kids to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Note that younger kids tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, so it is best to introduce fluoride toothpaste when they are old enough to spit it out.