We all know that if a child eats too much sugar, they can get cavities. But did you know there are foods that can actually make your kid’s teeth stronger? A pediatric dentist is here to talk about 8 foods that are beneficial to your children’s oral health.
1. Vitamin C
Your child’s mouth (and everyone’s mouth) is home to lots of bacteria, some of which can cause gingivitis, or the first stage of gum disease. However, fruits and vegetables with a high vitamin C content can counteract these harmful bacteria. These include:
- Red, yellow, and orange peppers
Although these fruits and veggies are great for your teeth, your pediatric dentist recommends that your little one wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush their teeth. This is because the citric acid temporarily softens tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to erosion from brushing.
Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that help fight the harmful bacteria in your kid’s mouth that cause gingivitis and plaque buildup. Make sure to select a low-fat or fat-free yogurt to pack in your child’s lunchbox.
There are few health problems that drinking more water can’t help with, and that includes preventing tooth decay. Drinking water with meals helps increase saliva production. Saliva helps wash away excess food particles and bacteria, so you can always benefit from having more of it.
4. Sugar-Free Gum
According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal or snack can help fight tooth decay. The act of chewing stimulates the production of saliva, and the lack of sugar helps prevent cavities. Just be sure to avoid giving your child gum until they’re at least 4, when they can be trusted to not swallow it.
Egg yolks are chock-full of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb phosphates and calcium in other foods. These minerals are needed to help protect and build tooth enamel.
6. Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds contain plenty of natural fats that coat the teeth and protect against bacteria. Seeds are full of natural oils that can make enamel stronger. Additionally, sunflower seeds have folic acid, which reduces inflammation in the gums.
7. Crisp Veggies
The fibrous textures of raw veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumbers naturally clean your teeth as you chew, according to your children’s dentist. Advise your little one to chew each bite thoroughly before swallowing.
8. Milk and Cheese
Milk and cheese are high in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphates, all of which strengthen teeth, as well as the rest of the bones in your kid’s body. It even makes the bones surrounding your child’s teeth stronger, making them more resistant to gum disease later on in life.
These 8 foods and drinks can strengthen your child’s teeth and improve their oral health. Try packing them in your little one’s lunch. Their teeth will thank you later!
About the Author
Dr. Tera Pollock is a 1993 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. Following graduation, she completed a residency at Detroit Receiving Hospital/University of Detroit Mercy with rotations through Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She now works in the pediatric practice within Rowlett Dental Associates. For more info on how to make your child’s teeth grow in happy and healthy, contact Dr. Pollock at (972) 475-0301.