Technology and our knowledge concerning cavity prevention has never been greater, so why do children continue to develop cavities at an alarming rate? The main reason behind this is irregular and ignored care by their parents when it comes to proper oral hygiene and diet. Kids need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak, and have a beautiful smile. What is essential for this, and a child’s growth and development, is a well-balanced, nutritional diet!
As a parent it is necessary for you to keep a check on what your child eats as it affects his or her teeth. Intake of an excessive amount of sugar (for example pastries, candies, chocolates, shakes, cakes, cookies, and sugary beverages), carbohydrates, and starches (like potato chips and pretzels) can lead to tooth decay, especially if they do not practice proper oral hygiene. The longer the carbohydrates remain on the teeth, the more that the chances of tooth decay increase.
One of the best things a parent can do is to help their child make the best food choices. Here are some tooth-friendly foods:
Citrus Fruits are Friends
Citrus fruits like kiwi, oranges, limes, peppers, and even strawberries are a good friend to your teeth as they help you strengthen your teeth and give them a shiny white color. As we all know, there are different kinds of bacteria present in the mouth of a child and some of them can lead to gingivitis which is the early stage of many gum diseases.
The vitamin C present in citrus foods helps to kill those bacteria and supports a healthy supply of collagen to gums. Some of the good vegetable options are red, green and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Experts say that kids should not brush their teeth just after eating citrus fruits. You should allow them to brush their teeth after at least 30 minutes because if brushing is done before this time the citric acid can lead to weakening tooth enamel. However, citrus fruits in excess can damage the enamel because of the high acid levels so consume these items in moderation.
Do you know cheese can protect your kid’s teeth from tooth decay? We often stop our kids from eating cheese but normal amounts are very beneficial to the teeth because it neutralizes the acids produced by dental plaque that would otherwise result in decay. A recent dental study says that whenever you eat cheese, the pH level on your teeth increases (lowering the acid), thus protecting against dental erosion.
Green Beans, Raw Carrots, and Cauliflower
Not everybody knows that crunchy vegetables such as green beans, snap beans, raw carrots, and cauliflower are advantageous for kid’s teeth. Crispy, crunchy veggies are “the chewing foods” that automatically clean the teeth and gums of your child. Whenever your child eats these foods, they scrape away the plaque settled on your child’s teeth that builds up between meals or that is missed while brushing.
Encourage your child to have crunchy foods and chew them thoroughly for keeping his/her teeth clean.
Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Sesame
To protect your kid’s teeth from bacteria causing tooth decay, have your child eat nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame. They contain natural fats that shield teeth to protect against different bacteria. The oil present inside the seeds is meant to strengthen tooth enamel which further makes teeth resistant to cavities. Some of the seeds also contain calcium which is healthy for teeth as well.
This advice is great for children, but holds true for adults as well! If you would like to schedule a family dentistry appointment for yourself or your child, please contact us today!