A nutritious diet is essential for healthy kids. Food affects all aspects of their well-being—including their dental health. Encouraging your children to eat the following healthy foods will help them maintain strong and vibrant pearly whites.
Discourage your kids from eating too many starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, and potatoes. These foods can easily break down into sugar that feeds the bacteria in the mouth. Instead of eating starchy foods, encourage your children to eat dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. These foods are rich in vitamin D, phosphate, and calcium, all of which strengthen the bones and teeth. Calcium can adhere to the teeth and provide additional protection from harmful acids that linger in the mouth. Calcium also repairs damaged tooth enamel and strengthens the bones surrounding the teeth, making your children more resistant to periodontal diseases later in life.
Foods that are rich in animal protein contain high levels of phosphorus, which is critical for good oral health. Protein helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. If your children are hesitant to eat meat because they find it difficult to chew, give them eggs. The yolk of the egg is rich in phosphorus. For children in vegetarian families, protein can be obtained from tofu, beans, and nuts.
Teach your children early to eat whole grains. The unrefined grains have many nutritious components, including fiber. They are packed with magnesium, which is important in building the enamel of the teeth. Avoid serving your children refined carbohydrates, which are grains that are broken down into simple sugars.
It’s imperative to include crunchy vegetables and fruits in your child’s diet. As children chew, the fruits and veggies will break down into small particles that scrub the teeth. Celery is especially helpful for teeth because of the fibers and high water content that help maintain the integrity of the teeth. Celery is sometimes called “nature’s dental floss.”
Eating foods that are dense with vitamin C will help your children’s dental health as well. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, such as oranges, and in other vegetables and fruits, including kiwi, strawberries, peppers, melons, green vegetables, and more.
Teaching your children how to eat healthy food today will result in fewer oral health complications later in their lives.