Most parents are aware of the fact that adult teeth typically start to come in around age six. Until then, baby teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, and damage to them can cause substantial problems later. And while brushing and engaging in other standard oral hygiene practices is fundamental, some parents underestimate the impact that eating the right foods can have on a child’s positive dental development. With that in mind, here are just a few foods to include in your child’s diet to boost dental health.
According to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illness. Fortunately, various nuts and seeds provide essential fats that help to provide a layer of protection against dental buildup. Your child will get these benefits from eating sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and nuts:
“Nuts and seeds contain natural fats that coat teeth and help shield against bacteria, says Dr. Wu. The oils in the seeds help strengthen enamel, making teeth more resistant to cavities, and most seeds also contain calcium. Kids older than 4 can eat trail mix as a healthy snack,” writes Gina Roberts-Grey on Parents.
This one’s a no-brainer: time after time, dairy products have been proven to improve oral health. Consuming more dairy products can help balance the pH in the mouth after your child eats starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and white potatoes. The calcium and vitamin D are just an added bonus. Of course, it’s important to make sure to keep sugar content to a minimum if yogurt is your child’s dairy product of choice.
Finally, don’t underestimate the dental health boost that certain raw veggies can provide. Licensed dentists agree that celery, cauliflower, raw carrots, green beans, and snap peas are also excellent dental damage deterrents. These foods essentially help to scrub the plaque and other buildup away from your child’s teeth. Make sure your child eats slowly and chews thoroughly.
Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain, and incorporating these foods into your child’s diet may have a bigger impact than you think. For more information about licensed dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.