When it comes to food and children’s teeth, educating yourself on the best options can keep smiles bright. The following tips will help you and your family make wise food choices for both oral wellness and total body health.
While some foods don’t harm teeth, there are certain others that actively boost teeth health by killing gum-disease-causing bacteria. According to Parents, focusing your child’s diet on foods rich in Vitamin C is crucial. “Vitamin C in fruits such as oranges, limes, kiwis, cantaloupe, papaya, and strawberries helps kill these bacteria, and it also promotes a healthy supply of collagen in the gums. Other good vegetable sources: red, yellow, and orange peppers; tomatoes; and sweet potatoes.”
Another tip, have your kids wait approximately 30 minutes to brush teeth after they have consumed citrus foods/drinks. The citric acid in fruit temporarily weakens tooth enamel leaving teeth vulnerable to erosion caused by brushing.
When it comes to food and children’s teeth, most parents have heard the drill on the dangers of sugar. But don’t forget that sugar comes in more forms than just cookies and candy.
Carbohydrates and startches are loaded with sugars too. Cake, cookies, candies, milk, and other sugary foods and beverages, pretzels and potato chips all lead to tooth decay according to Web MD.
Also consider how long carbohydrates are staying in contact with teeth. Brushing right after consuming these types of foods can help reduce tooth decay issues.
The timing of sugar and sweets makes a difference too. Effective cavity prevention requires that sweets and desserts be offered immediately following a meal (if you are going to give these items to kids). Following mealtime, the mouth has increased saliva allowing the sugars to be more easily washed from the surfaces of teeth.
Keeping sugars off the surface of the tooth’s enamel is the goal. Foods that are sticky, are harder for saliva to wash off naturally, so they require kids to immediately brush after eating them. Some foods that fall into this category include: Fruite snacks, raisins, dried fruits, granola bars, oatmeal peanut butter, gummy bears, caramel, honey, and syrup.
Research has shown that eating cheese can help with the fight against tooth decay. This is because cheese lowers the acidic levels in your mouth. According to Live Science, “Research published in the journal General Dentistry earlier this year reported that 12- to 15-year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than those who ate sugar-free yogurt or drank a glass of milk.” Cheese neutralizes the acids so it is a great meal closer or snack. It also increase saliva production which helps to wash away harmful bacteria.
When it comes to snacking, it is a practice best avoided when making smart choices for food and children’s teeth. Frequent snacking keeps sugars from foods constantly assailing the enamel of your teeth. But, if you are going to snack, snack smart. Thinking crunchy. And we’re not talking about the crunch of a chip here, but more like the crunch of vegetables and fruits.
Because of the amount of chewing required to breakdown foods like apples, carrots and cucumbers, they help to break down plaque deposits in the mouth at the same time, keeping teeth cleaner.
Need more tips about food and children’s teeth? Give our office a call at (813) 576-0200. Our experienced Li’l Sunshine Smiles team is ready to give you suggestions or to help you schedule a consultation and examination.