The Impact of Food and Drink on Your Child’s Health
Preventing cavities in children involves more than just brushing their teeth. Pediatric dentists know that proper oral health for children also requires a balanced diet. We all know that soda and candy cause tooth decay, but what about healthy foods like tomatoes and apples? The moment any food enters your mouth, your teeth are exposed to acids that wear down the enamel. The more you eat, the more your teeth become exposed to cavities.
Eating a balanced diet and brushing your teeth are essential to maintaining good oral health. Of course, you and your child should also visit your Grand Rapids pediatric dentist regularly to check up on their teeth and ask for advice.
Eating the Right Foods
As it turns out, certain foods can actually help your child’s oral hygiene. Foods high in calcium and phosphorus, like cheese, meat, nuts, and milk, are thought to rebuild the damaged enamel of your teeth. Vegetables and firm fruits, like apples and pears, are also good to eat because their high water content weakens the damaging effects of sugar.
Unfortunately, much of the food we eat hurts more than it helps. Breads, bananas, citrusy fruits, tomatoes, baked goods, chips and candy all coat your teeth in sugar. The bacteria in your mouth take that sugar and turn it into acid, and it’s the acid that attacks enamel. As a rule of thumb, your children should avoid eating sugar as much as possible.
This doesn’t mean that they cannot eat the foods they love. It does mean, however, that they should try to eat these harmful foods in moderation. Try mixing acidic fruits like oranges into a salad with spinach and nuts. The more food groups you include in each meal, the healthier your mouth will be for it.
Set an Appointment with Your Dentist
Brushing your teeth is just as important as eating the right foods. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth after each meal, or at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day. In addition to that, visit your dentist at least twice a year to significantly reduce your chances of tooth decay.
To learn more about the impact of food and drink on your child’s dental health or to schedule an appointment, contact your Grand Rapids pediatric dentist Dr. Meggan Krause or call our office directly at 616.988.9485.