As Long Beach dental experts for kids, we understand that getting children to eat healthy foods is not always easy. They are often attracted to sweet items like candy or sugared cereal simply because they taste good to a younger palate. Even though you try, you cannot always limit their exposure to the types of food you would prefer they not eat.
Kids are not yet mature enough to understand that a diet filled with this type of food can have serious consequences for their health, including oral health. They depend on you to set a good example by eating healthy food and taking excellent care of your own teeth. For as much as they might protest, they also need you to guide them to make the right food choices for themselves. Below are five foods or food categories that we especially recommend for kids.
Unless a child has a dairy allergy, most like the taste of milk, cheese, and yogurt. The staff at our Long Beach dental practice thinks this is great news because you can use this natural attraction to help your child choose things that help make teeth stronger. Each of these three items to eat or drink are rich in calcium, phosphate, and Vitamin D. These elements increase pH levels in your child’s mouth and also lowers acid, which naturally helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Certain Nuts and Seeds
Nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame, and sunflower are all good for teeth because they strengthen tooth enamel and prevent the development of bacteria. Trail mix without sugary candy added can make an excellent healthy snack.
The staff at our Long beach dental practice for kids would normally advise against giving your child a snack with a higher than normal sugar content. Apples are an exception because they are high in both water and fiber. Biting and chewing an apple creates a saliva build-up in the mouth that rinses away food particles and bacteria. The fiber in apples also helps to stimulate your child’s gums and keep them healthy.
You might not care to see your child smack gum and blow bubbles every day, but the occasional piece of sugarless gum can actually provide some oral health benefits. That is because it creates saliva that loosens plaque, hydrates the mouth, and produces natural antibodies. Chewing one piece of sugarless gum for up to 20 minutes after eating can help to prevent the development of cavities. Before you give your child a piece of sugarless gum, make sure that he or she understands not to swallow it and to throw it in the garbage when done chewing instead.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Even when it seems like a battle to get your child to eat vegetables, continue offering them on sandwiches, on salads, or even as a snack by themselves. Besides being low in calories and sugar and high in nutrients, some vegetables help to strengthen tooth enamel as well.
FUNtastic Dental is proud to be a premier Long Beach dental clinic for kids. Please let us know if you need additional tips on healthy foods or need to schedule an appointment.