Visits to the dentist can be a nightmare at times, especially for your child. The thought of spending hours in a chair, with a sore jaw and a numb face to show for it afterwards can be particularly scary for kids. A growing family also means more visits to the dentist.You don't have to brush your teeth — just the ones you want to keep. — Author Unknown Click To Tweet
Here are some foods that will strengthen your child’s teeth:
Calcium is the nutrient that builds strong teeth bones in our bodies and the same holds true for your child. Calcium which is abundant in dairy products strengthens the minerals in the bones as well as the enamel on your child’s teeth. Certain dairy products will not only strengthen your children’s bones and teeth but also promote the production of saliva in their mouths. Saliva protects their teeth against bacteria. Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese tend to neutralize the pH levels in our mouths. Flavored milks like chocolate or strawberry tend to be made up of a lot of sugars which can cut the health benefits to your children’s teeth.
There are several different types of bacteria in your child’s mouth and some of them can cause gingivitis which is the first stage of gum disease. Vitamin C in fruits such as limes, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwis, strawberries and papaya helps kill these bacteria and it also promotes a healthy supply of collagen in the gums. A healthy dose of vitamin C is essential for preventing scurvy.
Magnesium aids in strengthening both the tooth enamel and jaw. Whole grains such as rice, corn, barley, wheat and oats contain high quantities of magnesium. Steer clear of processed grains as much as possible as they tend just to dissolve into sugars in the mouth, which has harmful effects on your children’s teeth.
Unrefined grains preserve the healthy fiber and nutritious components of food which are extremely healthy for dental health. Whole grain foods also contain nutrients such as magnesium that is helpful in building tooth enamel. Refined carbohydrates are grains that are broken down into simple sugars that are not nutritious as well as more cavity-causing.
Hydration is great for your children’s health, particularly saliva production. Saliva keeps your teeth healthy as it has proteins and materials which fight bacteria and prevent tooth and gum decay. Ensure that your child remains hydrated throughout the day, especially when he/she plays sport during warmer temperatures.
Limit Your Child’s Intake of these Foods:
- Sticky and Chewy Foods – Sugary foods like gummy worms, caramel, lollipops, hard candies, etc. can cause some serious damage to your children’s teeth. If you give your kids some of these foods, make sure that they brush and clean their teeth properly afterwards. The best time to give your kids sugary foods is usually after a meal as there is still a large amount of saliva in the mouth making it easier to remove food and sugar particles from their teeth.
- Desserts – Limit the amount of dessert, ice cream and cookies your children eat and make sure that your children brush their teeth after eating such treats.
- Sugar Sweetened Drinks and Juices – Soft drinks like sodas, sports drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and chocolate milk should be given to children in moderation. Children should mostly be drinking water and their sugary liquid intake should be limited to once a day if not at all.
- Limit Your Snacking Between Meals – It is best for your children to eat at fixed mealtimes as constantly brushing away the food and sugar particles is not possible after every meal. Constant eating without any fixed timing makes it difficult to generate more saliva to wash away food and sugar particles. Time between meals gives your mouth enough time to keep itself as clean as possible but constant eating supplies a food source for bacteria to grow within your mouth and on your teeth. Try and make sure that your children brush twice a day.
To make sure that your children have great teeth as adults, their teeth have to be taken care of in childhood. Diet is directly linked to the strength and beauty of the teeth. A consistent supply of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients keeps the teeth safe from damage and makes them strong enough for your children to enjoy sweets and chocolates without any worries.
Monitor and control the amount of sweets and sticky food your child eats. Set and support a habit of visiting a dentist twice a year. Hopefully the above mentioned tips will aid you in helping to strengthen your child’s teeth.
Dr. Amruta Patel is a warm and compassionate dentist caring for the community of San Antonio, TX. Dr. Patel attended Marquette University, where she received both her dental degree and her bachelor’s degree.
She practices at All About Smiles, where she provides cosmetic braces, endodontic treatments, implants, and veneers, as well as basic general dental services. During her consultations, Dr. Patel fully explains patients’ conditions and helps them choose an appropriate treatment plan. Outside of practicing dentistry, Dr. Patel enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.