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Four Tooth-Friendly Diet Tips for Kids

tooth-friendly diet tipsAt Today’s Dental, we’re proud to care for the smallest patients by providing pediatric dentistry services. We recommend most patients are seen as soon as they get their first teeth or by his or her first birthdays. One of the surprising aspects we hear from many parents is that their child can experience cavities, even with their “baby” teeth.
In addition to brushing your child’s teeth twice per day or ensuring your child brushes regularly, you can also keep your child’s teeth healthy by ensuring they make healthy diet choices. A healthy diet is linked with dental health because excess sugars in the diet can attract cavity-causing bacteria. Also, eating healthy foods gives a child’s body the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain healthy teeth. Here are some tooth-friendly diet tips from our Houston, TX dental office to help your family:
1. Avoid excess fruit juice. While fruit juice can seem like a healthy choice for kids, it is often loaded with fruits and sugars and isn’t considered as healthy a choice as eating real fruits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children younger than six months should not drink fruit juices while those from ages 6 months to one year should not consume more than 6 ounces of fruit juice per day. Children from 7 to 18 years should limit their juice intake to 12 ounces per day.
2. Limit post-toothbrushing snacks. Children thrive on routine, and brushing their teeth should be a part of their nightly routine. What shouldn’t, however, is to continue to eat after brushing his or her teeth. Post-brushing snacks increase the likelihood for cavities because a child does not have as much saliva flowing when he or she is asleep. This reduces the ability to wash away harmful food particles from the teeth.
The same is true for refraining from putting a child to bed with a bottle that has sugar, such as milk, fruit juice or soda.
3. Promote calcium intake. Teeth are predominantly made from calcium, an ultra-hard mineral that gives teeth their protective enamel shell. When your child is old enough, give him or her milk as well as healthy calcium sources, such as broccoli and yogurt. These foods will give your child the nutrients needed for strong, healthy teeth.
4. Make sugary foods for special occasions. Cookies, jellybeans, syrup and gummies are all kid favorites, but they aren’t helpful when it comes to protecting a child’s teeth. These sugary foods also tend to be higher in calories, which can contribute to childhood obesity. For this reason, limit your child’s sugar intake to special occasions and encourage him or her to brush after eating sugar foods.
For more information on pediatric dentistry services offered or to make an appointment with Today’s Dental, please call (281) 580-0770.

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