When it comes to your kids, only the best foods will suffice. However, the temptations of sugary beverages, take-out meals and various sweet, delectable desserts sometimes can be overwhelming, particularly for kids.
But when it comes to helping your child maintain a pristine smile, it is paramount to understand the best and worst foods for his or her mouth. That way, you’ll be able to help your child make healthy choices and keep his or her teeth clean for years to come.
First, let’s consider some of the best foods for a healthy mouth:
Water helps your child stay hydrated and keep his or her teeth clean. It washes sugars and acid from the teeth and contains fluoride, a material that helps minimize the risk of tooth decay.
Introducing leafy vegetables into a child’s diet is a good idea for a number of reasons. These vegetables are loaded with many nutrients and require a lot of chewing – something that is excellent for a child’s teeth. Plus, leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce create plenty of saliva and actually scrubs the teeth to help clean them.
Strawberries serve as a sweet, delicious fruit that may help your child whiten his or her teeth. With each strawberry your child consumes, he or she also gets a healthy dose of malic acid – a natural enamel whitener.
Milk does a body good, and the same holds true for your child’s teeth. This dairy product is loaded with calcium, a key contributor to bone development that helps strengthen tooth enamel, too.
Have a child that cannot get enough gum? Offer him or her sugarless gum – by doing so, your child can chew gum that stimulates saliva creation and washes away acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Comparatively, let’s take a closer look at some of the worst foods for a healthy mouth:
Citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit are highly acidic. As a result, they may cause tooth enamel to erode over an extended period of time.2. Chewy candy
Taffy, caramels and other chewy candy might taste great, but these sweets can cause substantial damage to your child’s teeth. Chewy candy can easily become stuck in your kid’s teeth and may be difficult to remove. As such, this candy ultimately could result in cavities and tooth decay.
Eating pickles in moderation is unlikely to cause significant tooth erosion. However, consuming pickles too often can damage tooth enamel due to the high amounts of acid they contain.
Crackers might seem like a good snack for your child, at least until you consider the potential damage they may cause to your kid’s teeth. The refined carbohydrates found in many different types of crackers transform into sugar in the mouth, which may result in cavity-forming bacteria.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, soda and other sugary beverages can lead to cavities. But did you know the acids found in soda and other carbonated beverages can be more harmful than sugar? That’s right – these acids can erode a child’s tooth enamel as well.
Maintaining a healthy mouth can be exceedingly difficult for children. But parents who understand the best and worst foods for a healthy mouth can take the necessary precautions to ensure their kids are able to enjoy clean, healthy smiles for years to come.