Children’s Dental Health Month:
The Best and Worst Foods for Children’s Teeth

young-girl-dental-check-up

The whole month of February celebrates Children’s Dental Health Month!

We always want our children to feel their best and happy.  A healthy body will definitely allow them to enjoy running around but healthy teeth are even more important for them to enjoy food and keep smiling.  We have some tips for you to take home to include (or not to include) in your grocery list

Taking good care of your teeth is not only important for your oral health, but it’s also beneficial for your overall health. 

Yes, you’ve taught your child the basics of dental hygiene which is to brush teeth twice a day and floss daily.

However, the special ingredient to healthy teeth might be found in your child’s lunch or snack box. Food and drinks are definitely a big factor in their dental health.

Discover the tooth-friendly foods you should incorporate into your child’s meal and snack, and we have also included what you need to avoid!

Best Foods for Your Child’s Healthy Teeth

Crunchy, Water-Rich Vegetables (Celery, Cucumber, and Carrots)

cucumber dipped in water zoom HD shot

Celery, cucumbers, and carrots would be one of the best options.  They are like nature’s toothbrush for the kids! The fiber and the water in these vegetables will help neutralize and remove the plaque naturally.  

They are also low in sugar and even if they are offered with dips, they can be the must go to for children’s snack option. (dentist and doctor approved)

Nuts and Seeds

almond cashew pistacchio seeds

If your child is not allergic to nuts and seeds, these are one of the best healthy food options.  Unless sweetened, they have virtually no carbohydrates or sugar that cause a cavity.

Remember sugar and carbohydrates are the only macronutrients that cause cavity by lowering the pH of the saliva. Nuts and seeds also make a nutritious mouth-friendly snack!

Foods with high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, such as almonds, peanuts, and cashews, can protect your teeth by replenishing those minerals.  Just watch the quantity – after all, they are high in calories.

Fluoride Water

fluoride water poured in a clear glass

Drinking water with fluoride is good for the health of your child’s teeth and oral health. Almost all drinking water contains fluoride, but some bottled water varieties do not.  Regardless of drinking flat, clean water is the best drink than sugary juice or soda.

Eggs

brown eggs on tray

Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamin D and Vitamin A. These nutrients are essential nutrition for your teeth.

Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, which helps build and maintain strong, healthy teeth.  They also have virtually no carbohydrates that can cause tooth decay.

Organic cheese and unsweetened organic yogurt

blueberries and yogurt in a white bowl blue background

Organic cheese and unsweetened yogurt are one of the best sources of calcium, casein, and phosphorus.  Unless your child cannot tolerate dairy or has a respiratory infection (cold or flu) these options in small quantities would be excellent snack options. 

Broccoli and Green Leafy Vegetables

green leafy broccoli on top of table zoom HD

These leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals (Vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and folate). Broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables can provide big benefits for your overall health.

They have compounds that can also fight cancer and promote healthy cell growth.  The folic acid content in leafy greens helps improve the health of your teeth and gums.

Foods That Can Cause Tooth Decay and Cavities

african american asian kids eating ice cream together

Sugary Drinks

We know sugar can cause cavities but drinking them often is like you are on a highway to have cavities. Taking too much sugar can cause not only teeth problems but it can greatly affect your overall health.  One can become diabetic and have serious consequences, which we do not want in our children.

So what happens inside your mouth when you take sugary foods? Bacteria feed on the sugar on your teeth and it produces acid as a byproduct. The acidity destroys tooth enamel and causes decay.

What about the sugar-free sodas? Well, even sugar-free diet soda drinks can tear thin down enamel with its acidic content. Just remember: Sugar Content ignites Acid in Mouth.

Juices

Juices, even though the label claims to be 100% pure fruit juice, it still contains high levels of sugar content. This can cause tooth damage. Drinking water is more recommended over juices.

Candies, especially the Chewy Candies

We know candies are bad for teeth but extra chewy candies like taffy and caramels stick to teeth for a long time which can dissolve tooth enamel. Candies that are chewy, sugary and acidic, like sour candies, are the most damaging.

Dried Fruits

Many people choose dried fruits as a healthy snack, but these are also sticky and contain large amounts of sugar.  They also stick on the teeth for a long time and cause tooth decay rapidly.

If children eat sugary snacks, they should brush and rinse their teeth with water to minimize tooth decay.

Carbohydrates Rich Food: Crackers, Chips, and Bread

burger fries chicken chips on a table fast food

Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates. Cabs 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 zero nutritional value, but it is also because the starch in them can go between your teeth.

Dr. Ash has already explained in most of our blogs about carbohydrates that it causes cavities rather than candies due to the sticky food debris left inside the mouth and in between your molars or teeth.

Dr. Ash Estafan’s Video for Cavities

Healthy Habits To Imply During Children’s Dental Health Month

dad and son fist bumps at kitchen

Dental health starts during the early years of your child’s existence, especially with your child’s first teething.

If we teach our child about the essential healthy dental habits to develop, you can help them prevent having complicated dental conditions in the future.

1. Bring toddlers along for the parent’s regular dental checkup.

Condition your child’s mind that going to the dentist is just normal and perfectly fine. You can help your children see that the dental clinic is a friendly environment. This is why Madison Avenue Dentists is an anxiety-free clinic. We stop your dental anxiety right when you step inside. The lobby welcomes you with a fresh and warm ambiance.

Children need to know that dental offices are a friendly place to go regular oral health check-up. This gradual introduction will not happen in just one appointment but keeping this going will eventually help them feel comfortable when it’s their turn to get in the chair.

2. Schedule Regular Dental Appointment

Just like yearly physical exams, having a dental appointment at least twice a day is recommended. This is to avoid complications and make sure your teeth’s condition is optimal and if there are problems, it will be addressed properly by your dentists.

3. Flossing

Along with eating the right type foods; the teeth-friendly ones. It’s very important to floss at least once per day.  Flossing removes the plaque build-up between your teeth where your toothbrush usually can’t reach.

Once a child starts teething and reaches the ages of 2 and 6; parents should begin to help their children have the habit of flossing daily.

4. Brushing Teeth

According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth at least twice per day to can help remove plaque.

For breastfeeding moms, your baby’s teeth need to be wiped clean after bottle feeding or nursing.  For parents with toddlers and kids, you should use an infant toothbrush with a rice-sized amount of kids’ fluoride toothpaste starting at age.

If you happen to wonder the importance of fluoride is check it out here.

Trust Your Family’s Dental Health to Madison Avenue Dentists

Teach your whole family and your child about the importance of having healthy teeth and gums. Take out the unhealthy foods in your child’s diet and replace them with teeth-friendly options.

The whole #mavedds team is here to help your child stay happy and healthy. Regular appointments, as well as visits to your child’s dentist, can help ensure that your child stays on the road to proper dental health.

For more healthy tips and tricks, make an appointment with us today!

Sources:

https://www.health24.com/Medical/Oral-health/Dental-care/5-eating-habits-for-healthier-teeth-20180927

https://www.123dentist.com/want-healthier-gums-eat-more-of-these-foods/

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/vitamins-and-minerals.html