Choosing Foods for Healthy Teeth & Gums
As a parent, it’s natural to want to include healthy food options in your child’s diet to help them grow strong and healthy. But, have you ever thought to specifically include foods that support their smile?
Keep reading to learn which foods to add to your grocery list, and which ones to leave off:
When you were younger, your parents may have encouraged you to drink your milk or finish your vegetables. Now as a parent, you can see why including these into your child’s diet are so vital. Introducing plenty of nutritious foods at a young age will set your child up for a healthy lifestyle for years to come.
The basics of a tooth-friendly diet include plenty of calcium, fiber, phosphates, and vitamin D. All of these vitamins and minerals support strong, healthy teeth and keep your child’s smile bright.
Here are a few specific foods to include:
- Celery (a natural flossing tool!)
- Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.)
- Nuts and seeds
Drinking Plenty of Water
Water contains fluoride, which is an essential mineral that protects oral health. Not only does fluoride help kids develop healthy, strong teeth, it also provides added protection against cavities. Water also keeps your little one’s gums hydrated!
Children ages 1-3 years should drink four cups per day, while kids 4-8 years old should have five cups. Older children and teens should drink seven to eight cups per day.
Foods to Avoid
Chewing on hard candies, jerky, ice, and other tough or sticky snacks can be a detriment to oral health. These foods lead to cracked enamel, which can impact your little one’s oral health as well as their braces, fillings, and crowns.
It’s best to avoid as much sugar as possible in your little one’s diet. Sugar converts to acid that eats away the protective coating on the teeth, making them more vulnerable to cavities. Kids and teens are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults, as their enamel is not fully developed and less resistant to the acid.
To protect your child’s teeth and gums, here are a few foods to limit or avoid:
- Sugary drinks
- Citrus fruits
- Chewy candy
- Starches such as chips
- White flour
For children with braces, here are a few foods to avoid to prevent dental issues:
- Hard candies
- Whole nuts
- Crunchy biscuits
- Chewing gum
- Popcorn kernels
- Meat off the bone
If you’re interested in a full list of foods to avoid, our team can provide you with one when you come in for your next appointment. If your child has Invisalign, they can eat these foods without issue — just make sure they remove their aligners before eating!
Keeping Up With Brushing
In addition to protecting your child’s smile through proper nutrition, it’s important that your little one keeps up with their oral care routine at home and regularly visits the dentist. This will ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep their smile bright and healthy!
Book Your Child’s Next Appointment at Our New York City Office
Dr. Robert N. Goldsmith and Dr. Jessica Lynch are thrilled that you have chosen West Side Kids Dental for your child’s dental needs. The top priority of our pediatric dentists and our entire team is to provide quality care with a gentle hand that makes patients and their families feel at home. We pride ourselves on our ability to make necessary adjustments that create a pleasant experience for both our patients and their families.
Contact our New York City dental team at (844) 910-3557 or visit us online. Our staff is fully committed to providing the best dental care for your child.