You’ve taught your child the basics of looking after their teeth: brushing and flossing twice a day. However, the secret to healthy teeth might be in your child’s lunchbox. The foods our children eat have a big impact on their teeth. Here is a list of the tooth-friendly foods you should incorporate into every meal and what you should be avoiding.
Foods to Encourage
An apple a day could keep the cavities away! Chewing apples and other crunchy, high-fibre fruits can scrub away plaque from teeth. As a bonus, apples are full of vitamin and minerals and make an easy snack.
Water with fluoride
Drinking water with fluoride is essential for the health of your child’s teeth. Almost all drinking water contains fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay and helps to keep our teeth strong and healthy.
Eggs are an excellent source of calcium, protein and vitamin D, all of which are important mineral for oral health. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium which helps to maintain strong healthy teeth.
Milk, Cheese, and Yoghurt
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, casein and phosphorus, which can protect tooth enamel. The nutrients in milk products can also neutralize some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria.
Carrots, Broccoli and Leafy Green Vegetables
Thanks to their high levels of vitamins, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables can provide big benefits to our oral health. The folic acid found in these vegetables is known to improve the health of teeth and gums. Just like apples, crunchy vegetables contain a lot of water and require a lot of chewing which can help to scrub the tooth surfaces.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds make a great snack. Acids remove tooth enamel, and foods with high amount of calcium and phosphorus, such as almonds, peanuts and cashews can protect teeth by replenishing those minerals.
Foods to Avoid
Sugary Drinks and Fruit Juice
It’s no secret that too much sugar is damaging to your health and can cause cavities. The sugar on your teeth turns into acid, which destroys tooth enamel and causes decay. The acids and sugar found in soft drinks combine to cause tooth damage. Even sugar-free soft drinks can erode enamel because of their acidic content. Fruit juice also contains high levels of sugar. Drinking low-fat milk and water is recommended over juice.
Eating too much sugar is bad for overall tooth health and lollies are full of it. They can cause cavities and get stuck in the crevices of the tooth. Chewy lollies like caramels and toffies can stick to the teeth for a long time which can dissolve tooth enamel. Lollies that are chewy, sugary and acidic are the most damaging. If children do eat sugary snacks they should brush and rinse their teeth with water straight after.
Chips, Bread and Pasta
Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrate. They break down into simple sugars in the body which can lead to tooth decay. Eating chips for a snack are not recommended, not only because they provide no nutritional value, but also because the starch in them can stick the teeth, causing damage. Instead of bread or pasta made with white flour, opt for whole wheat options.
Dental health starts during infancy with your child’s first tooth. By teaching your child about healthy dental habits from the start, you can help prevent the complicated dental condition in the future. Regular check-ups at your children’s dentist Pimpama can ensure your child is on the right track to healthy teeth and gums!