Young ones can’t resist sugar and sweets. Once they first try chocolate, it seems every other type of food becomes less interesting, and they constantly crave treats. Parents understand that they need to limit the intake of sugar and processed foods, but what about food types that can help improve your kids’ dental hygiene and health?
Foods That Improve Oral Health
That’s right, you can improve your oral health if you consume certain groups of foods regularly. If you want to know how to make teeth strong, you need to improve your and your kids’ habits, combine a variety of fruits, veggies, seeds, and dairy products to get the best results.
Your child’s mouth always has different types of bacteria within, and some of the bad bacteria can proliferate if young ones are not particularly good at maintaining hygiene. Untreated bacteria lead to gingivitis which can then turn into full-blown gum disease. Vitamin C is one of the best substances helping drive bacteria away: oranges, limes, kiwis, papaya, and strawberries are excellent sources. Not only that these fruits help kill the bacteria, but they all fall in the category of food for healthy gums, as they provide a steady supply of collagen to kids’ gums. If your kids consume citrus foods and drinks, it is vital to wait at half an hour before brushing. Citric acid can temporarily weaken the enamel and make teeth susceptible to erosion caused by brushing.
Food that imitates the toothbrush is helpful, as it scrapes away the plaque built up after meals and naturally cleanses the teeth. Make sure you give your young one raw carrots, celery, cauliflower, green beans, red, yellow, and orange peppers. The mechanical motion that is chewing, is the best auto-cleaning you can have without using the brush. Make sure you have fresh veggies available and have your young one chew the food as much as possible, to get the nasty stuff from its teeth and gums.
Some food types including bread, pasta, and potatoes, disintegrate into sugar. As we already discussed, sugar feeds bacteria that produce cavity-causing acid. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or cheese help battling bacteria by raising the pH level in the mouth, which means that acidity is reduced. The richness in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate helps in reducing acidity, repairing the enamel, and strengthening the bones around your child’s teeth. This makes teeth more resistant to periodontal disease which can develop later, making dairy products perfect for your kid’s oral health.
Seeds and Nuts
Some food types reduce acidity levels, some like dairy help build up teeth due to substances such as calcium. How to strengthen the tooth enamel? Nuts and seeds contain natural fats that can help and shield your teeth against bacteria and negative effects. These fats can coat your kid’s teeth, and oils in the seeds help to strengthen the enamel, guarding the teeth against cavities. Look for an appropriate mix of seeds and nuts per your child’s age.
Sugarless gum is a perfect stimulant for saliva, and saliva helps to loosen plaque and increase natural antibodies in the mouth. While chewing food generally causes more saliva flow, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals, helps with preventing tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Additionally, saliva hydrates gums, making gums perfect allies in maintaining your young one’s oral health. So next time they ask for a pack of gum at the checkout line, go ahead. Just keep in mind that they should be at least 4 and realize they shouldn’t swallow gum.
What to Avoid?
Sticky, sugary, and food that gets stuck between the teeth is typically what your dentist wants you to avoid. Sugary bubble gum, carbonated drinks, potato chips, caramel, gum candy, taffy and so on – these are the foods you want to avoid giving your kids. Nothing is set in stone, and yes, you and your ones should enjoy a treat on occasion. But make sure they clean their teeth thoroughly afterward. But first, be sure to have a dentist take a look at your child’s teeth. Book your appointment at Doral Sedation and Family Dentistry.