9 Childhood Nutrition Tips from a Pediatric Dentist
Sugary, starchy, and acidic foods can cause tooth decay if they’re eaten frequently or remain on teeth for a long time. As a parent, you need to teach your child to choose healthier foods and take care of their teeth properly. Use these food and nutrition tips to keep both your child and their pediatric dentist in Florida, Maryland and Virginia smiling.
1. Feed Kids Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that have a high volume of water, like pears, melons, and cucumbers, are low in sugar and the crunching they require helps clean the teeth. Try to limit your child’s intake of foods like bananas and dried fruits because they’re higher in sugar, but when your child eats them, just be sure to brush their teeth immediately after.
2. Go for Good Sources of Calcium
Calcium is known to build strong, healthy teeth. That’s why your pediatric dentist recommends including good sources like milk, yogurt, cheese, and broccoli in your child’s meals and snacks.
3. Choose Cheese
Eating cheese as part of meals and snacks helps trigger the flow of saliva, which rinses food particles off of teeth. And its calcium content helps keep teeth and bones strong.
4. Stay Away from Sugary, Sticky, Starchy Foods
Sugary and starchy foods like raisins, dried fruit, granola bars, cookies, hard candies, jelly beans, honey, chewy caramels, and syrup tend to stick to the teeth and are difficult for saliva to wash away. As a result, they continuously coat the teeth with sugar, which can result in tooth decay. When your child has these foods, have them brush their teeth right after eating. From now on, try to only buy foods that are unsweetened or sugar-free.
5. Stick to Serving Sugar Only with Meals
When you give your child sweets, serve them as occasional desserts right after a meal since there’s usually a higher amount of saliva in the mouth at mealtime, which can help wash these sugars off of teeth.
6. Make Better Baby Bottles at Bedtime
When you’re giving your a child a bottle before naps and at bedtime, be sure to fill it with plain water rather than sugary formula, milk, or juice. This will prevent their teeth from long-term exposure to the sugars that cause tooth decay.
7. Pick Plain Water Instead of Soda or Juice
Since juices and sodas contain lots of sugar, only buy and serve plain water for your kids. Water is safe for their teeth and helps wash away the food particles that can cling to their teeth and cause decay.
8. Brush and Floss Your Child’s Teeth Every Day
Be sure to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day and floss their teeth at least once a day to help remove plaque and food between teeth and below the gum line. Ask your pediatric dentist in Florida, Maryland and Virginia to teach you and your child the right oral hygiene techniques.
9. Regularly Visit Your Pediatric Dentist in Florida, Maryland and Virginia
Dental experts recommend taking your child for their first pediatric dentist visit no later than their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth erupts through the gums. Then, this should be followed by regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent, treat, and detect dental problems early.