How Eating Habits Affect Oral Health
Feeding your child every day has its challenges. There are foods that your child loves but they aren’t the healthiest and others they can’t stand but need for a. Frankly, it can be exhausting to convince them on what’s best.
However, before you stop through the drive-through for an easy meal, you should know that what your child eats affects the state of their teeth and gums. Too much sugary food or beverages can lead to childhood cavities and tooth decay.
At Hudsonville Dental Kids, our pediatric dentists recommend that parents or guardians establish early on in a child’s life to ensure teeth develop and remain strong.
Continue reading to learn what you should keep track of with regards to your child’s nutrition and food items that constitute a healthy diet.
What to Monitor
When it comes to food, there is so much out there to choose from that it can be hard to know what is and isn’t best for your child. Your decision can also become further complicated due to clever marketing on packages at the grocery store.
Once you know what to look out for, it is easy to spot certain dietary offenders while perusing the grocery aisles. Let’s look at a few major food categories that are harmful to your child’s oral health.
Foods to Limit
You’ve probably heard it before: everything is fine in moderation. Well, there is truth to the saying. Though it is impractical to completely eliminate certain foods from your child’s diet, it is possible to limit how much they are consumed.
For example, make sweets something to enjoy during special occasions, like birthday parties or holidays, instead of daily. A mindful attitude toward food will promote good oral hygiene and healthy teeth.
Be sure to monitor food items that fall into these categories:
- Sugary Foods: fruit juices, soda, candy, cake, fruit gummies.
- Acidic Foods: citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons.
- Starchy Foods: bread, chips, pasta.
- Chewy Foods: caramel, toffee, gum.
When your child consumes sugary foods, the sugar feeds the bacteria in plaque and causes it to release an acid that attacks enamel. You can help combat the effects of these types of foods by making sure your child is regularly brushing and flossing after eating.
Bringing your child into our Hudsonville office for dental cleanings every 6 months also protects their teeth from decay.
Healthy Food and Snacks to Choose
You might be asking, “Well what should my child eat?”. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced diet should include the following.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean proteins
Practice Good Habits to Avoid Cavities
Sugary snacks and foods are enticing for children but eating too much of them can lead to oral health complications down the road. Help keep your child’s mouth healthy with good eating habits and routine dental cleanings every 6 months.