We all know that it is important to instill great eating habits to keep your children on a path to good heath. Did you also know that nutrition plays a role in our dental health? Of course overall health is important, but there are things that are especially good and bad for the teeth of growing children. Here are just a few:
Fruits and vegetables are in general good choices. Fruits that are high in water content are particularly good, as they don’t linger on the teeth, causing tooth decay.
Cheese is another dental do! Aged cheese to be specific stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to wash away particles that are left behind.
Milk and yogurt are also healthy choices, it is important for children to get enough calcium and these are excellent sources. Did you know that broccoli is also a good source of calcium?
Water is another good choice, notably when water is the beverage of choice in place of a sugary beverage. Water can also help to remove food particles and keep us hydrated!
Sugary foods, especially those that linger on the teeth such as, hard candy, lollipops, even mints. These tend to cover the teeth with sugar.
Ice cubes, that is if they chew or crunch them with their teeth, this goes for adult too! Teeth can actually break or weaken when you do this.
Chewy or sticky foods, this includes raisins, jelly beans, honey, granola bars. We know many of these things are actually good for our children in the nutrition department. Just make sure they brush their teeth right after they eat these. These foods can get caught between teeth and are harder for saliva to wash away without the help of brushing.
Energy drinks and Sports drinks, there is a difference. According to some studies some energy drinks can have as much caffeine as 14 cans of soda, harmful in many ways. These typically also contain high amounts of sugar. Most dentist and doctors agree water is usually the better choice.
These recommendations are not a complete list of do’s or don’ts, but a few to get you thinking about the connection. If you find your child eating something on the don’t list be sure to brush and floss after. Just do the best you can and as always talk with your dentist and health care professional to encourage your child to follow eating habits that will allow them to have a lifetime of overall and dental health.