During the summer months, more kids are home near their fridges and pantries that are stockpiled with sugary foods, drinks and candies. The more that kids consume sugary foods this summer, the more likely they are to suffer from tooth decay and cavities. However, implementing healthy snacks and lunch/dinner options will not only teach them how to make healthy food choices but protect their teeth from disease. Fruits and veggies are full of Vitamin A, D and C and give teeth the strength they need to achieve good oral health. Find out what foods are good for kids’ teeth and which ones you should avoid with this guide!
Sugar and Teeth
Summertime is the season full of swimming, parties and fun, but it also is a time where kids’ oral health suffers. Kids tend to hang around the house more often during the summer, and they have plenty of access to sugary foods and drinks in the pantry and fridge. Most kids will experience tooth decay, even if they brush and floss their teeth regularly. Sugar is the main contributor of tooth decay and cavities in little kids as it is found in most of the foods that they consume, especially during the summer months. Bacteria in the mouth creates enamel-eating acid whenever it comes in contact with sugar. Acid eats away at tooth enamel until holes develop, called cavities. The more kids consume sugary foods and drinks, the more likely they are to experience a cavity. Soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks are typically high in sugar and acid, which when combined, create an attack on teeth that is difficult to treat. Candy and baked goods are also contributors to tooth decay and increase your likelihood of experiencing a cavity, so they should be eaten in moderation. Almost all the foods we consume contain sugar, but there are certain foods that are a necessary part of our diet and therefore are okay to eat. Knowing which foods contain high amounts of sugar and which ones improve oral health will be essential as you begin this journey to protect your children’s teeth.
Food That Improve Oral Health
It’s important to note that even if some foods are high in sugar, it’s okay to eat them if you do so sparingly. However, there are certain groups of foods that are essential in forming good oral health and strong teeth. For starters, cheese is a wonderful snack or addition to a meal that is high in protein and calcium, nutrients that teeth need to develop strong enamel. Cheese has been found to lower your risk of tooth decay and chewing it induces saliva production, which washes the mouth out. Leafy greens are also important to include in your child’s diet as they’re full of vitamins and minerals and low on calories. Kale and spinach are especially nutritious as they contain folic acid and calcium, both of which prevent gum disease and increase the production of tooth enamel.
Kids love apples, carrots and celery, and they’re three of the best things that you could give them to promote a healthy mouth. Apples are high in fiber and help scrub the mouth of food and bacteria. Even though they have a higher amount of sugar compared to other snacks, apples are still a healthy snack to eat. Carrots are known for their high levels of Vitamin A and fiber, and, just like apples, help clear the mouth of food particles as you chew them. Celery is also full of Vitamin A and C, plus it acts like a toothbrush and washes the mouth of bacteria and leftover food. They’re mostly water so they’re low in calories, which is just one of the many benefits they offer. Lastly, almonds are great for kids’ teeth since they contain protein and calcium. They’re low in sugar and can be added to most meals for an extra crunch. These examples of only some of the many foods that are great snacks for little kids. Make sure that your child is getting enough dairy, whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables in their diet to stay healthy. For more ideas about healthy snacks and meals, talk with your child’s dentist. He/she can give you tips on foods to avoid so that your kid’s teeth can last them for years to come.
Importance of Dental Checkups
Even if you’ve implemented healthy snacks and meals into your child’s diet, it is still very common for he/she to develop a cavity. Your kid can still have good oral health even if they have a cavity or two, so don’t stress if one develops. To further safeguard your child’s teeth, make sure to bring them in every six months for their dental checkup. These visits provide dentists the opportunity to review your child’s mouth, diagnose any problems and complete a thorough cleaning. During the checkup, their teeth, gums and mouth will be cleaned to remove any plaque or tartar that has built up on or around the tooth. Afterwards, the dentist will look around their mouth with a metal probe and mirror to identity any swelling, redness or signs of infection. X-rays will be taken from time to time to monitor your child’s teeth movement and diagnose their oral health needs. The dental checkup itself is harmless and the dentist will do everything in his or her power to ensure that your child feels safe and comfortable. These visits are essential in preventing and treating tooth decay, which will help your child achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.
Brighten Your Child’s Smile With Our Help!
At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we expend all of our efforts in making sure that your child receives the best dental care possible so that they can smile with confidence. Whether your kid needs a dental checkup or you have questions about keeping their teeth healthy, our team can help! Call our office today at (303) 731-7755 to schedule an appointment and keep your child’s smile happy and healthy!