A healthy and beautiful smile is one of the best gifts you can give your son or daughter! Nutrition plays an integral role in having a healthy smile, and that's why parents need to help their kids develop good dental habits early on.
Teaching your little ones how to brush and floss their teeth when they are very young helps them understand the importance of dental care. Consistent visits with their children's dental specialists every six months will also protect their precious smiles.
Here are some tips for developing healthy eating habits at home.
Tooth-Friendly Foods and Snacks
A diet high in fruits and vegetables is excellent for both adult's and children's dental health. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots help stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes the acids in your mouth. Extra saliva also washes away the bacteria and debris left in your mouth after meals.
Foods high in protein, such as lean meat and nuts, help to strengthen tooth enamel, which guards against tooth decay. However, when it comes to snacking, other protein-rich foods that don't risk good oral health are unsalted or low-salt nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. Another tooth-friendly snack is cheese cut into small cubes, especially cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and other aged cheeses. Like crunchy fruits and vegetables, these cheeses activate the flow of saliva that washes food particles off of teeth.
Low-sugar yogurts contain beneficial probiotics that help to eliminate the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and cavities.
Chewing sugar-free gum can also increase saliva and loosen food particles stuck in between teeth.
Foods and Beverages to Limit or Avoid
Foods and beverages high in sugar can fuel the bacteria that destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities. Therefore, sodas, juices, and sugary sports drinks should be limited or avoided altogether since drinking them is like giving your teeth a sugar bath.
Carbohydrates and starchy snacks present a double whammy against oral health because they stick to teeth and then convert into sugar. So when it's snack time, keep in mind that chips, crackers, or cookies can linger on your teeth and begin the process of tooth decay and enamel erosion.
We can say the same can for sticky, chewy candy like taffy or caramel sticks to teeth and linger in the mouth.
Don't Hesitate to Express Your Concerns
If you have questions about your little one's dental health or nutrition, your Palos Heights children's dentist is here to help! Call Palos Pediatric Dentistry at (708) 263-6708 today for more information.