It’s a sad fact that children tend to gravitate toward unhealthy foods. Anything that is loaded with sugar, starch, and saturated fat is the stuff of dreams to them. As a parent, it is part of your job to curb their unwholesome cravings and steer them toward snacks that will benefit their bodies and their teeth. Your pediatric/children’s dentist in Marble Falls is here to list a few of the benefits that your child will experience if you help them adopt good eating habits.
Calcium is one of the essential minerals that make up teeth, and developing bodies require a lot of it in order for their smiles to thrive. Snacks that contain high calcium levels fortify teeth and promote your child’s overall health as well. Most children should have at least two servings of dairy each day to meet their calcium needs. Milk and yogurt are good choices — just be sure not to choose yogurt that is loaded with tons of sugar.
What if your child doesn’t handle lactose well? There are still some calcium-rich foods that they can enjoy. Almonds, kale, broccoli, and soy products all contain a good amount of this teeth-strengthening mineral. Some children who can’t have other dairy foods can even enjoy cheese since it is relatively low in lactose.
A Cleaner Mouth
You’re doing your best to teach your kids how to brush and floss their teeth properly, but did you know that their diet can also be part of a good oral hygiene routine? Some of your child’s favorite high-fiber produce items require a lot of chewing; that chewing action increases saliva production, which helps to rinse bacteria out of the mouth. Carrots and celery are both great for this. For kids that don’t naturally like vegetables, you might make them more appetizing with a tasty dip.
Apples are also great for increasing saliva production. Kids love their natural sweetness, and even though they’re high in sugar, their fiber and vitamin content make them a healthy snack choice.
If you make a constant effort to steer your family’s diet toward wholesome foods, you can train your kids’ bodies to expect and even enjoy snacks and meals that are good for them. Eventually, their desire for unhealthy goodies will diminish.
To get your kids started on the road to a healthier diet, you might try to set up a reward system. For example, if your children consistently eat four or five servings of veggies a day, you might reward them with a new toy or a special family outing.
Helping your kids to appreciate the value of healthy snacks will benefit their oral health — and the rest of their bodies — for a lifetime. Next time you go to the grocery store, why not pick up some extra fruits, veggies, and calcium-rich foods? Your pediatric/children’s dentist in Brady will be proud of you!
About the Dentists
Dr. Greg Ritchie is proud to care for the smiles of children in Brady and Marble Falls. He always want to educate patients about how they can have healthier teeth and gums, so if you have questions about how to keep your little ones’ oral health in great shape, please contact one of our offices.