In order to achieve the healthiest mouth possible for your child, it is crucial that you establish a healthy diet. Their diet will not only affect their general health but their oral health as well. Initiating a balanced diet will help ensure properly developing teeth. Many dentists will recommend specific foods and vitamins for their teeth, however, there are also several foods your child should avoid. In fact, the signs of poor nutritional health will first appear in your mouth!
DO Eat the Healthiest Snacks and Vitamins for Your Teeth
It is known that fiber has significant impacts on your health, but little did you know– it affects your teeth too! Actually, fiber is known to be one of the most impactful nutrients you could put in your mouth. When consuming fibrous fruits and vegetables, they actually scrub your teeth and help with saliva flow. This, in turn, helps to remove mouth bacterias, ultimately lessening your chances of cavities and tooth decay. Be sure to add more fruits and veggies, like apples, carrots, and celery, into your diet– nature’s natural teeth cleaners!
There are several known benefits that come with drinking sufficient amounts of water, and improving your oral health is one of them! Foods like apples, a very water-rich substance, helps with the mouth’s production of saliva. Saliva works to prevent tooth decay through washing away food particles, which cleans the mouth and neutralizes the damaging acids attacking your teeth.
Vitamin C serves as a strong antioxidant, helping with the protection and healing of gums, as well as fighting gum inflammation. Oranges, grapefruit, and kiwi are all rich in citrus, which contains Vitamin C. However, those fruits are very acidic, so be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after enjoying them!
Vitamin A is one of the leading vitamins in ensuring overall oral health. Vitamin A works in magical ways by maintaining a proper saliva flow, which naturally cleans teeth of damaging acids, and prevents dry mouth. It also works to sustain the healthy mucous in the mouth that coats cheeks and gums, making them less susceptible to infection and disease. Some foods that are rich in Vitamin A include carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes, and fish.
Did you know that the hardest part of your body is your teeth? Due to this, it is imperative that one works to maintain their strength. Be sure to include lots of calcium in your diet. Calcium aids in several processes which include building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Most, if not all, dairy products contain calcium, which will help to lessen oral acidity levels, prevent tooth decay, and maintain proper bone density. The protein, casein, found in cheese is essential for building strong tooth enamel. Dairy is not the only way to fulfill your calcium requirement. There are plenty of juices, soy or almond milk, and many other dairy-free products that all contain calcium, and will help you keep up healthy oral and general health.
Don’t Eat These Healthy Foods That Are Surprisingly Unhealthy For Your Teeth
Did you know that some foods that are marketed as healthy are actually terrible for teeth and overall oral health? You may be surprised…
Contrary to what one might believe, “healthy” snacks like granola and trail mix contain a hidden and concerning amount of sugars and fats. These snacks can ultimately become detrimental to your health due to the high amount of calories. The excessive amounts of sugar and calories can cause eventual tooth decay and will leave your child hungry, causing them to overeat. Try to pick the brands (or make your own) with a high fiber content and a low amount of sugar.
This may be a no-brainer, but it is so often overlooked– “nutritional” sports/energy drinks. This exceptionally unhealthy beverage contains more sugar than the recommended daily amount for adults– they’re equally comparable to a can of soda! Although these drinks are a common drink to give your child during a sports game, it’s significantly healthier to simply give them an ice cold water (another natural teeth cleaner!)
Smoothies can serve as a wonderfully healthy snack full of nutrients and other beneficial substances– when made or purchased sensibly. Using ingredients like non-fat greek yogurt and natural nut butter can add exceptional proteins, but be careful to limit your high-bearing sugars. Fruits like grapes, mangoes, cherries, and pomegranates are packed with sugar and calories, easily turning this healthy snack into an unhealthy one. Healthy Tip: Use a straw to minimize direct sugar contact with your teeth!
On top of brushing and flossing, the best oral advice would be to make sure to base your child’s diet on foods that won’t cause tooth decay or cavities. Beautiful smiles will come when a healthy diet is included as part of your oral and general health care. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office where we will evaluate their smiles and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case. We will teach your children (and you) the proper way to take care of their teeth!
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