Dietary Recommendation for Kids
Most parents know their child needs a healthy and balanced diet, so they grow to their full potential. However, some may not know that good nutrition also plays a major role in your child’s oral health. Without the right minerals and vitamins, the teeth and gum tissues may not develop properly. A poor diet can even increase your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. At Neu Family Dental, we believe that the proper education can prevent major oral health issues and establish a strong foundation that can last a lifetime. The following dietary recommendations are designed to help keep your child’s smile bright, beautiful, and healthy.
The Importance of Vegetables, Fruits, and Calcium
Vegetables and fruits are some of the most nutritious foods your child can eat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a program called MyPlate that gives information on nutritional values and recommended serving sizes. According to their website, half of your child’s plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits. Vegetables are especially helpful for your child’s teeth. Most are rich in vitamins, such as vitamin C, which helps to prevent periodontal disease.
We all know that it can be difficult to get a child to eat their vegetables. To boost your child’s vegetable consumption, make things more convenient for them. Stock the fridge and pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables, so they are readily available. You can also replace certain snacks with more healthy options. For example, instead of chips, you could pack baby-carrots and a dipping sauce. Although a dipping sauce is not ideal, it does make vegetables more palatable for children.
Calcium is a mineral that not only contributes to bone strength, is also plays a major role in the function of your child’s nerves and muscles. We recommend foods and beverages that are rich in calcium because it can re-mineralize the enamel, and protect the teeth from decay. Milk and other dairy products have proven to be an excellent source of calcium. If your child has a dairy allergy, they can still get calcium from other sources such as soy milk or fortified orange juice.
Snacking and High Sugar Intake
Snacking and high sugar intake can cause significant issues for your child’s oral health. For starters, the bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars we consume. The more they feed, the more acid they produce. This can lead to greater instances of tooth decay. Although you don’t have to eliminate snacks, you should limit their exposure to candies, sodas, and other high sugar items. Instead, offer more healthy options like carrots or apple slices. If reducing the number of snacks your child wants is challenging, be sure they brush their teeth after consumption.
Reducing their exposure to sugary snacks not only saves them from tooth decay, but it can also prevents other more systemic illness, such as diabetes.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment
Establishing good eating habits and an excellent oral hygiene routine can help your child maintain a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your child’s appointment, call (847) 230-9143 today!