By Atlantic Dentistry
September 26, 2014
Category: Oral Health
September is fruits and veggies – more matters month, which means it is important to watch what you eat. Just like regular brushing, flossing, and semi-annual dental checkups, proper nutrition plays a critical role in the development of your child's teeth. A proper, balanced diet is one of the best things you can do as a parent to help ensure your child grows up with strong teeth and gums, and a healthy smile. A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. This includes fruits and vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; meat, fish, and eggs.
Healthy Snacks for Your Child
Serving healthy snacks to our children is important to providing good nutrition for growth and development, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and preventing costly and potentially disabling diseases. Snacks are a bigger part of kids’ diets than they have been previously. Depending on the choices we offer, snacks can make positive or negative contributions to kids’ diets and protect their teeth. When preparing snacks choose from the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Healthy grains
- Low-fat dairy foods
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk of tooth decay. Harmful starchy foods include breads, crackers, pasta, and such snacks as pretzels and potato chips. Even fruits, a few vegetables and most milk products have at least one type of sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for example, not only has sugar in the jelly, but may have sugar added to the peanut butter. Sugar is also added to such condiments as catsup and salad dressings.
Kids who consume too much soda and not enough nutritional beverages are prone to tooth decay in addition to serious ailments later in life, such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel.
Soft drinks contain sticky sugars that bacteria in our mouths use as an energy source. They break down into acids and adhere to tooth surfaces. Using a straw when drinking soda can help keep sugar away from teeth. Remind your child to rinse his or her mouth with water after meals, especially during school, in order to leave their teeth free of sugar and acid. That is why good care and a balanced diet is essential for healthy smile.
The essentials of a proper diet include:
- Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; meat, fish and eggs.
- Minimize starchy foods such as breads, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips.
- Be aware that some presumably healthy foods, such as peanut butter, jelly, raisins, and granola bars contain sugars that can break down and promote tooth decay. Ensure that your child brushes their teeth after eating these kinds of snacks.
A proper, balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to ensure your child grows up with strong teeth and gums. Request an appointment to talk to your Kitty Hawk dentist for more information on creating a proper diet for your child.
Kids don't always eat their fruits & vegetables. How do you make sure that they are eating the right foods? We would love to hear what creative tips you have!