Experienced Ohio Dentists Discuss The Best & Worst Foods For Teeth
Parents want their kids to have healthy school lunches, but we often forget to consider what foods will benefit their teeth. Fortunately, there are many foods that are great for teeth health and help prevent cavities.
Foods That Are Good For Teeth Include:
Most children love cheese, so parents are happy to know that cheese raises the pH in our mouths, which lowers the risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains nutrients such as calcium and protein that strengthen tooth enamel. As a delicious snack and a good way to end meals so that teeth are protected until your child brushes at bedtime, cheese is a great food for dental health.
Like cheese, yogurt is also high in calcium and protein, making it another child-loved option for strengthening teeth and contributing to overall dental health. Yogurt also contains probiotics, good bacteria that help the body ward off bad bacteria. If your child likes yogurt in their school lunch, be sure to choose a plain style without added or artificial sugars.
It’s not surprising that leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, and lettuces end up on every healthy food list. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals and also have the advantage of being low in calories. Leafy greens contribute to your oral health because the minerals they contain build your teeth’s enamel. Since many children object to leafy greens, try adding a bit of baby spinach to your salads or add some kale to a pizza. You could also try adding greens to a smoothie with berries or other fruit.
The fibrous texture of an apple stimulates the gums, which helps strengthen them so they can protect the mouth from bacteria. The chewing involved with eating an apple stimulates saliva production, which naturally washes away bacteria and helps strengthen tooth enamel. While apples cannot replace brushing your teeth, they are a good choice to tide you over if you are unable to brush after a meal.
Like apples, carrots stimulate the mouth with their crunch and are also full of fiber. As mentioned, both of these characteristics flush harmful bacteria out of the mouth and decrease your child’s risk of cavities. Try adding plain carrots to your child’s lunch, or include a dip.
Many people avoid celery because it can be bland, watery, and fibrous, but these are the characteristics that actually make celery so good for teeth. Like apples and carrots, celery scrubs away bacteria, helping to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Almonds are beneficial for your child’s teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein, and contain virtually no sugar. If you add a quarter of a cup of almonds in your child’s lunch, you feel good about helping to prevent cavities. Almonds can also be added to a salad or stir fry.
It’s good to know that the foods that benefit your child’s teeth are also great for their overall health and promote healthy growth. They are good for snacking or adding to a school lunch.
On the flip side, the ADA specifically lists foods and beverages that are considered the most likely to harm or damage your child’s teeth. Avoiding these foods in school lunches will go a long way in promoting your child’s oral health. Here are some specifics to avoid.
Foods That Are Harmful To Teeth Include:
Hard candies may seem fine, but they immediately expose your child’s teeth to high amounts of sugars over several minutes. They can even cause dental emergencies by damaging existing dental work or chipping a healthy tooth.
Foods High In Acid
Acidic foods such as lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits, even in juice, can erode enamel over time, leaving them prone to cavities and sensitivity. If you choose to enjoy these foods, be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward with plenty of water, or choose fruits that are better for oral health, such as apples, instead.
This may be a surprising food to avoid from an oral health standpoint, but they really aren’t great for your child’s mouth. This is because potato chips are filled with starches that can get stuck onto your child’s teeth and contribute to oral decay. If you choose to add chips in your child’s school lunch, encourage your child to brush afterward to remove those harmful starches.
Sports Drinks & Sodas
While these types of beverages are tasty, they’re also filled with sugars and/or acids. Many people are surprised to learn that even the carbonation element of these drinks contains acid which erodes tooth enamel. It’s best to focus on drinking water.
Help your child promote oral health by modeling dietary choices that are healthy for their teeth and their growing bodies. Of course, consuming or avoiding these foods will never replace brushing, flossing, or routine cleanings at your dentist’s office. It’s also important to remember that some of these foods may need to be avoided if your child is currently receiving orthodontic treatment. Ask your dentist or orthodontist what foods they recommend to promote healthy teeth and gums!
Schedule An Appointment With Professional Dentists In Seven Hills, OH
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist or want to learn more about mouth healthy foods, contact Pure Health Dental to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable dentists. To better serve you, we accept a wide variety of insurance and also offer options for uninsured patients. Our dentists are ready to listen to your concerns and answer your questions! Schedule an appointment today through our website or by calling one of our seven convenient locations.