Kids Healthy Smiles Start With a Balanced Diet
As we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, it is a good reminder about the importance of establishing good oral health habits at a young age.
In addition to brushing and flossing, a healthy diet is essential for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Given that 90 percent* of all foods contain sugars or starches that enable bacteria in dental plaque to produce acids, it’s no wonder about the impact of diet on dental health.
All types of sugars, and foods that contain them, can cause tooth decay. Slowly sipping a sugary drink, licking a lollipop, or having other types of long-lasting snacks create an immediate acid attack on your teeth.
Here are some steps parents can take to help protect their child’s teeth with a balanced diet:
- Choose meals and snacks for dental and general health
- Encourage water as the go-to beverage. Avoid soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Serve healthy snacks no more than three times a day. Ideas include: vegetables, yogurt and peanut butter.
- Ensure your child gets protein, vitamins and minerals – such as calcium and phosphorous – to build strong teeth and help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Having a balanced diet along with proper brushing and flossing, fluoride treatments, and regular dental visits will keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.
*American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2013)