While brushing, flossing and getting teeth cleaned regularly are vital to your child’s dental health, they aren’t the only factors that affect dental hygiene. For instance, there are many foods that can help protect against enamel-damaging plaque and gum disease. If you want to keep your children’s teeth even stronger and healthier, you may want to consider incorporating these foods into their daily dental routine.
1. Milk – While our favorite cookie-dunking beverage contains high amounts of sugar, its health benefits more than make up for it. First, milk has enough calcium to help children develop strong baby and adult teeth, which can prevent tooth loss. Secondly, milk helps protect teeth from the acids in your mouth caused by plaque bacteria. So, downing a glass of milk after eating a handful of Oreos is more than just delicious –it also neutralizes the acids that cause tooth decay.
2. Chewing Gum – To be more specific, sugarless gum. It may seem like gum could not offer any health benefits, but it actually does for your dental hygiene. This is because chewing gum increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which can rid your child’s teeth of bacteria from other foods. Sugar-free gum also contains Xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth and prevents “acid attacks” caused by bacteria sticking to the teeth.
3. Yogurt – Speaking of bacteria, it’s good to have some good bacteria in the mouth to promote oral health. Yogurt is known to contain protective bacteria that help fight the bad germs between teeth. These good bacteria can prevent bad breath, plaque and gum disease. We recommend buying plain, sugar-free yogurt full of probiotics and proteins for your child.
4. Crunchy Foods – Even the texture of certain foods can affect adolescents’ dental environments. Typically bacteria will settle on the teeth after we eat foods, which is why brushing and flossing are essential to removing these bacteria. However, crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as celery, apples, carrots, and pears can help cleanse the teeth by breaking away plaque build-up.
5. High-Protein Foods – Foods with high levels of protein, such as chicken, eggs, turkey, and cheese contain calcium and phosphorus, which work together to promote re-mineralization of the teeth. When acids produced by plaque bacteria erode tooth enamel, eating these foods can help replace the minerals in your child’s teeth to keep them strong and healthy.
A consistent routine at home will make your child’s next dental appointment even more pleasant. At Dentistry for Children and Adolescents, we are dedicated to equipping parents with the proper tools for keeping kids’ teeth healthy and strong.
For now, feel free to download our FREE eBook on beverages to watch out for and dental care. It will help educate you and your family on the perils of what may be hiding in your own home.