When your child eats and drinks starchy or sugary foods, it is not only bad for their overall health, but for their oral health as well. Sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. There is more and more evidence that oral health is linked to overall health, and that people with gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes.
Dr. Scott Weinstein, a leading pediatric dentist in Charlotte, NC, provides this overview of the best foods to serve your child to protect both their oral and overall health.
These are the best foods for your child, including:
Fiber-rich Fruits and Vegetables
According to the American Dental Association, foods that are high in fiber help keep your teeth and gums clean. They help produce saliva, which is a natural defense against cavities and gum disease. Fruits and vegetables are also highly recommended for your child’s overall health.
Cheese, Milk, Plain Yogurt, and Other Dairy Products
Dairy products help build strong bones and teeth. The calcium in cheese, and the calcium and phosphates in milk and other dairy products, help put back minerals in your teeth, rebuilding tooth enamel.
Sugarless Chewing Gum
Your child should love this one! Chewing gum is actually useful for removing food particles because it produces a lot of saliva in the mouth.
Fluoridated drinking water is important for healthy teeth. Most city water systems contain fluoride, but if your water doesn’t, you can purchase water with added fluoride. You should discuss this with your kid’s pediatric dentist.
While some foods keep you healthy, others should be limited, including:
That’s not to say your child can never have these foods, but they should be limited, not only for their oral health but also for overall health. And, when your child consumes these foods, they should brush their teeth afterward. However, have your child wait about 20 minutes before brushing their teeth; otherwise, they will be spreading the acid from the sugar throughout their mouth.
If you have more questions about healthy foods for your child or you want to schedule an appointment, contact us. If you are looking for the leading practice in pediatric dental care in Charlotte, Arboretum, Waxhaw, or Indian Trail, we would love to hear from you. We look forward to helping your child achieve a healthy, beautiful, long-lasting smile!