The Best Nutrition for Your Child’s Dental Health
November 12, 2021 ABC Children's Dentistry
Children’s dental health consists of more than just brushing and regular checkups. You may not realize it, but your child’s diet plays a crucial role in how well his or her teeth will develop over a lifetime, and early dietary habits often set the stage for adulthood. In fact, one recent study suggests that higher sugar consumption is a predictor of poor dental health independent of any oral hygiene habits. This means that, even if your child brushes and flosses regularly, higher sugar consumption may be correlated with larger amounts of tooth decay.
What Should I Do To Protect My Child’s Dental Health?
There are several steps you can take to ensure that your child has a healthy diet and, in turn, strong support for good oral health:
- Cut out sugary drinks and snacks. It almost goes without saying in these times, but sugar is not good for children. Not only are sugary drinks and snacks linked strongly to childhood obesity, but they play a key role in tooth decay and bad oral health as well. Sugary drinks include sodas (which add another layer of problem with their high acid levels), but they also include undiluted fruit juices. Many parents are surprised to learn that “healthy” fruit drinks may have a negative impact on children’s health, but there is plenty of evidence that the high-fructose corn syrup so often present in these drinks is a major contributor to obesity and other health issues, including dental decay.
- Bump up the fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables serve two important purposes in a child’s diet: they not only give your child the vitamins and minerals he or she needs, but they also provide good chewing exercise that helps strengthen and develop teeth. Children who have soft diets may have weaker teeth than those that regularly crunch and chew on apple slices, celery, carrots and other healthy snacks.
- Balance things out. An occasional treat is fine, but be sure that your child is eating a wide variety of foods that include protein, carbs and healthy fats. One of the worst things for your child’s health is to eat only one type of food. Although it can be difficult, encourage your child to try a variety of new foods. It can help to include your child in the selection and preparation of food for the family. Having a designated family meal time and eating space can also help you to get your child engaged in healthy, wholesome food.
At ABC Dental, we work with parents to create solutions to the dental problems children may face. We are always ready to help you with your child’s dental health needs. Our friendly, professional staff will make your child feel welcome from the moment he or she walks through the door and will help you create a safe, non-threatening environment to address any oral health issues that may arise. Call us today to schedule your child’s first appointment.