No matter how good your kids are at following the basics of dental hygiene, they can still develop tooth decay. The reason why dental problems rise despite following a daily dental hygiene is, type of ‘food’ consumed. Food has a great impact on the teeth. It can make the teeth better or worse.
When it comes to the dental hygiene of children, what they eat and drink, and even how they consume it has an impact on their teeth. Whenever parents want to prevent teeth cavities in kids, they often shout at kids to refrain from eating chocolates and sweets. But there are many foods apart from these which cause cavities in kids. A healthy and balanced diet helps teeth grow and maintain good oral health. Here is a list of best and worst foods for your kid’s teeth.
Best foods for your kid’s teeth:
Tooth-friendly foods that should be incorporated in every meal of your kid:
High-Fiber fruits & vegetables:
The fiber present in the foods act as a scrubbing agent for the teeth. It requires a longer chewing time, which stimulates the flow of saliva. Saliva neutralizes the acids that damage teeth and it is referred as the first line of defense for teeth. It also contains calcium and phosphates which help rebuild the minerals of teeth that are leached away by acids present in some foods. So, include fruits and vegetables that are rich sources of fiber in your kid’s diet.
Dairy products with no added sugar can help teeth in many ways. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and similar products help stimulate saliva besides providing calcium and phosphates. Since these products are rich in calcium, they replace the minerals that are leached away from teeth by the acids; making teeth healthy.
Xylitol is a type of sugar extracted from a variety of plants. It is used in chewing gums and also as a general sweetener. Any kind of sugarless chewing gums can boost dental health, as they stimulate the production of saliva and can scrub teeth. But chewing gums sweetened with Xylitol can fight against the bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay.
Nuts provide vitamins and minerals that are good for teeth. Peanuts provide calcium and vitamin D, while almonds have high levels of calcium. Cashews can stimulate the saliva production and helps clean teeth. Walnuts offer a lot of vitamins and minerals such as fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium, and zinc. So, don’t forget to include these nuts in your kid’s diet. They can be given as mini treats instead of candies and chocolates.
Along with calcium and phosphorus, vitamins A, C, and D are good for teeth. Foods that provide these vitamins and minerals include beef, eggs, fish, potatoes, spinach, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, beans, whole grains, and poultry.
Worst foods for your kid’s teeth:
Foods that need to be avoided in your kid’s diet:
Long-Lasting & Sticky foods:
We know that foods with high sugar content are not good for teeth. But, it’s not just the sugar that develops cavities; it’s how long the teeth are being exposed to sugar. So make sure to avoid foods that stick to the tooth surfaces and need a long, leisurely suck.
Though fresh juicy fruits are considered good, dried fruits like raisins, prunes, and apricots act similar to caramels. Since all these fruits are sweet when fresh, their sugars get concentrated when the water is dried. Besides high sugar content, the gummy texture of dried fruits can stick to teeth. The non-soluble cellulose fiber in these fruits can trap the sugars on and around teeth, making it worse than a candy.
Foods that are high in starch such as white bread, potato chips, pasta and French fries can easily get stuck between the teeth. Though these foods don’t taste sweet, the starch present in them can begin converting into sugar immediately. This can develop cavities and result in tooth decay.
Citrus fruits contain powerful citric acid. Though fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain citric acid, they are a part of healthy diet. These fruits should be consumed quickly and the teeth should be rinsed afterward. Sucking on citrus fruits can expose teeth to citric acid for a long time which is not so good for them.