While eating the right food may not necessarily make your kids’ teeth into “superteeth,” eating the wrong food will certainly cause them problems. So eating right is more of a preventative measure, helping to ensure the health of their teeth. If you’ve ever seen a child with serious tooth decay, then you know how worthwhile taking preventative measures is.
Here’s a list of foods that have received the stamp of approval for your kid’s teeth.
- Calcium-rich foods: Foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt, contain high levels of calcium to keep teeth strong. These foods lower the levels of acids in the mouth that can cause cavities. Eating these foods during childhood can also help to prevent periodontal disease further down the road. Note: While milk is good for teeth, never put a child to bed with a bottle/cup of milk. This can lead to Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
- Water: Drinking excessive water is always a safer choice than drinking excessive soda, juice, or even milk, because of the sugar in them. For young kids, even watered-down juice is better than undiluted juice with all of its natural sugars. Additionally, kids from ages 1 to 6, should only drink 4-6 ounces of fruit juice a day, which translates into less than a full cup. Once again, it’s all about prevention.
- Sugar-free gum: Gum in and of itself isn’t bad…unless it contains sugar. Thankfully, several companies have invented tasty, sugar-free gums. Some gums, such as the brand Ice Breakers are sweetened with xylitol, which actually fights tooth decay-causing bacteria. In fact, the American Dental Association has approved sugar-free gums such as Dentyne Ice, Orbit, Trident, Stride, 5, Ice Breaker Ice Cubes, and Eclipse, labeling them as “sugar free chewing gum for reducing cavities.”
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Oranges, kiwis, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and strawberries all contain significant levels of Vitamin C. This vitamin works against bacterias that can cause gingivitis, a form of gum disease.
As a parent, you are setting the foundation for your child’s future oral health now. If your kids grow up eating the right foods, it will be easier for them to do so later in life too. Tell them the reasons these foods are good for them, so they’ll be motivated to maintain the healthy eating habits you’re instilling in them now.
As Dr. Suess said, “Teeth are always in style,” so train your kids to take excellent care of theirs!