Food choices and your child’s dental health

Making good food choices can help with your kids dental health.

Your child’s dental hygiene is important! The food and beverages that your children choose play a major role in their dental health. Michigan State University Extension recommends making food choices that promote good dental health. Health experts say the best thing a parent can do is to teach their children how to make good food choices like the following:

  • Eating fruit and vegetables with a high water content, like melons, berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, potato, etc. These foods will keep particles from sticking to teeth. If your child eats sticky foods like raisins and bananas have them brush their teeth immediately after eating.
  • Having cheese for a snack, it can trigger the release of saliva in the mouth which helps to keep teeth clean.
  • Serve desserts with a meal and not for a snack, there is more saliva in the mouth which can wash away food while eating a meal. Offer your child water as well which will help to wash food particles away.
  • Limit your child from constant snacking, especially if they are not brushing their teeth between snacks. Excess bacteria build up on their teeth and will cause plaque buildup and tooth decay.
  • Avoid sugary foods including high acid beverages like pop, sodas, juices, sweet drinks containing high amounts of sugar which causes bacteria to coat the teeth and cause tooth decay.
  • Buy sugar free or unsweetened foods.
  • Avoid baby tooth decay sometimes called “bottle mouth”, never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, or pop.
  • Include good sources of calcium like low fat or fat free dairy foods in your child’s diet to develop strong teeth.

The American Dental Association says that what you eat is not only important to your general health but also your dental health. Parents can help their children have good dental health and decrease cavities by providing them with healthy foods and beverages which promote good dental health.

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