Encouraging kids to look after their teeth and gums is a priority for all parents, and one way to do this is by making sure they get proper nutrition. In this article, we'll look at what food contributes to good oral health in children, helping them to set lifelong habits that support a bright smile.
Foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are known to contain calcium and phosphorus, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. Calcium in particular is good for tooth enamel. Providing children with a range of dairy products will make sure they get the best for their developing teeth.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
If nature could create its own toothbrush, then raw fruits and vegetables would be it. The crunchy texture helps to remove bits of food and plaque from teeth. They are also full of vitamins that support oral health.
Green plants such as spinach, kale and chard are high in calcium and folic acid. Folic acid is a key nutrient in repairing tissues, making leafy greens a great choice for maintaining gum health. While kids may not enjoy a plate of spinach, you can add leafy greens to salads, or even blend them into a smoothie with fruits that appeal to children’s tastes.
Lean meat, fish and poultry helps bring another dose of phosphorus, which is essential for building strong teeth. These foods also contain vitamin D, which helps the body with calcium absorption. Ensure your child gets an adequate amount of protein each day to provide the essential nutrients needed for strong teeth and healthy gums.
Nuts and Seeds
This food group is perfect for a fast snack, and is also beneficial for teeth. Nuts like almonds and seed, such as chia, are good sources of calcium, and crunching them can help clean teeth of other food particles and plaque. Always supervise children when eating nuts as they can be a choking hazard. Or you could crush nuts and seeds and add them to other dishes.
Encourage children to choose water over flavored drinks. Water is best for teeth as it keeps acid to a minimum, helping to prevent a build up of bacteria that can cause cavities. Water can be given at any time, but is especially helpful after a meal of snack.
Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods
There is no doubt that lots of children enjoy a sweet treat, as well as flavored drinks that cause acid. It is a well-known fact that consuming too many sugary or acidic foods erodes enamel and creates cavities. While you don’t want to deprive your child of treats, be mindful of their intake and keep up with their oral hygiene routine.
Supporting Children’s Oral Health with Good Nutrition
Proper nutrition is essential for children’s dental health. Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including these teeth-friendly foods. Always keep up with dental checks and maintain effective dental hygiene to give children’s teeth the best start. For more advice on children’s dental health, contact the friendly team at Pediatric Dental Specialists in KC today.