Children’s Dental Health and Diet

Did you know that your teeth are designed to last a lifetime? With proper diet and oral care that starts early, your teeth can remain strong throughout your life! That is great motivation to help develop your child’s diet and eating habits early.

Nutrition and Your Child’s Dental Health

Doctors and dentists agree that children need the right foods for the development of healthy teeth as well as to keep those teeth strong and healthy throughout their lifetime. Many foods contribute to good dental health. Here are a few of the most important foods for your child’s dental health.

  • Milk, Cheese, Yogurt and other dairy products are rich in calcium and protein which are important for strong teeth.
  • Fruits and Vegetables are high in water and fiber and help balance sugars while stimulating saliva production which helps wash away harmful acid and food particles.
  • Almonds are great for your teeth because they are high in calcium and protein and low in sugar.

Cavity Culprits

Of course, when developing a diet for great oral health, it is also important to know what to avoid. Carbohydrates, and how long they remain on the teeth are the main cause of tooth decay. These include things such as:

  • Milk (especially when given at bedtime)
  • Candy
  • Juice
  • Sugary drinks
  • Pretzels
  • Potato chips
  • Bread
  • Cake
  • Cookies
kids in vegetable costumes and teeth

Important Dietary and Oral Care Tips for Children

It can be difficult to avoid all sugary foods, but you can take steps to instill habits that can help build a smile that will last a lifetime.

  • Never let a baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk in its mouth. After milk or formula, clean the baby’s teeth with a damp cloth and water or baby safe tooth cleaner and provide a bottle of water to fall asleep.
  • Avoid sticky foods like raisins, caramel, and honey that stick to the teeth. If your child has sticky foods, be sure to have them brush after a meal or snack.
  • Avoid sugary foods.
  • Serve cheese or other saliva stimulating snacks instead of chips or cookies.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables on hand for healthy snacks.
  • Include foods rich in calcium such as broccoli, milk, or yogurt at every meal.
  • Discourage frequent snacking without brushing as it provides constant fuel for bacteria to form causing gum disease.

One of the most important things you can do to encourage great dental health is to schedule regular dental appointments. Your child should see a dentist within 6 months of the first tooth erupting, and every 3-6 months thereafter. To schedule an appointment, call us today! 909-554-3754