3 Eating Tips to Give Your Child Healthy Teeth

3 Eating Tips to Give Your Child Healthy Teeth
Posted on 02/03/2021
Child with healthy teeth

Diet plays a big role in oral or dental health. A good diet is especially necessary for children whose oral tissues, including teeth, are still forming. Early adoption of good eating habits may also help the child retain the habits for life. Below are three tips for eating habits that will promote good oral health for your child.

1. Encourage These Foods

Some foods and drinks promote good oral health. Ensure the child regularly gets such foods in their diet, especially in the following categories.

Foods With Helpful Nutrients

The mouth needs specific nutrients to stay healthy. For example, your child needs:

  • Calcium for adequate teeth enamel
  • Fluoride for teeth remineralization
  • Phosphorous for strong teeth structure
  • Vitamin C for strong connective tissues

These are just a few examples. Your child needs dozens of nutrients to maintain a healthy mouth. The best way to ensure the child gets the desired nutrition is to give them a balanced diet comprised of unprocessed foods. Examples include whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables.

Cleansing and Hydrating Agents

Some foods and drinks also clean and hydrate the mouth. Such foods reduce bacteria accumulation in the mouth, which reduces plaque accumulation and bad odor. Examples include:

  • Plain water
  • Sugarless gum
  • Foods with lots of fiber, such as apples and strawberries

Such foods and drinks can also act as healthy snacks.

2. Limit These Foods

Just as some foods promote good oral health, others can lead to poor oral health. Watch out for such foods and control them. Here are some categories of such foods.

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods damage the teeth by eroding the enamel. The enamel is the outermost protective layer of the teeth. Serious enamel erosion exposes the teeth to damage from bacteria, further acidic damage, and even physical trauma. Examples of acidic foods include orange juice, vinegar, and cola drinks.

Sugary Foods

You should also watch out for sugary drinks since sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria synthesize sugar to produce acids that damage the teeth, as explained above. Examples of sugary foods include candy and soft drinks. Note that carbohydrates also break down into sugars in the mouth, so you should watch out for them too.

Dehydrants

Lastly, you should also control foods that dry the mouth. Your child needs saliva to clean the mouth and rid it of damaging bacteria. A dry mouth also leads to bad mouth odor. Examples of foods that dry the mouth include dry foods (such as crackers), salty foods, and caffeine.

3. Encourage These Eating Habits

Apart from what your child eats and drinks, their eating habits also matter. Here are some eating habits to encourage.

Limited Snacking Between Meals

Lots of snacking between meals means the mouth always has traces of food. The more that food stays in the mouth, the more time bacteria has to decay food and produce damaging acids. In addition, frequent snacking also makes it difficult to brush after every eating episode. Thus, you should limit how often your child gets to snack between meals.

Eating Sugary Snacks With Meals

As previously mentioned, sugary snacks are not good for the teeth. However, your child doesn't have to avoid all sugary foods. Instead, encourage the child to eat any sweet treats during mealtimes. That way, the child can benefit from the increased saliva production during mealtimes. The child also gets to brush their teeth afterward, which cleans away the sugars.

In addition to good eating habits, you should also get regular dental checkups for your child. Regular checkups may help to identify and correct emerging dental problems. Contact Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for all your child's dental needs. We have experienced and dedicated pediatric dentists who delight in providing dental care for children.