With everything that has been occurring, we did not have much time to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) in February. Now is a great time for parents to promote the benefits of proper oral health habits in children to help them get a great start on a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth!
With the coronavirus pandemic and “stay-at-home” and “shelter-in-place” orders in many places throughout Canada, we wanted to share some of the best and worst foods and snacks for kids as part of our celebration of NCDHM.
6 Kid-Friendly Foods Great of Teeth and Gums
1. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots. Snacking on these kid-friendly foods are a great source of fiber and help remove tooth decay-causing plaque.
2. Water with fluoride either from the tap or out of a bottle. Fluoride is essential for healthy teeth and gums in children. It helps strengthen the teeth and enamel to prevent tooth decay. Water also rinses away food particles before they start to turn into plaque.
3. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. Dairy products are a great source of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphates to help strengthen and protect the teeth. HOWEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow babies suck on their milk bottles at night after age of 1 at night.
4. Green leafy vegetables and broccoli. Green vegetables contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help promote healthy enamel.
5. Brown or white eggs. Not only a great source of protein, eggs also contain vitamin D, phosphates, and protein, just like dairy products.
6. Crunchy seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and cashews. Snacking on nuts provides essential minerals that neutralize tooth decay-causing acids and also help remove plaque from the teeth.
4 Non-Kid-Friendly Tooth Decay-Causing Foods and Snacks
1. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. Citrus fruits are very high in acid that can eat away the protective enamel layer on the teeth.
2. Pasta, breads, and potato chips. These foods contain starches that are converted into simple sugars in the mouth and can cause tooth decay.
3. Sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks. These beverages not only contain high amounts of sugar that cause tooth decay but also acids that can destroy tooth enamel.
4. Chewy candies like gummies, caramels, and taffy. These sweet treats get stuck on the teeth and can remain on them for some time. As a result, the sugars are released onto the teeth and are converted into tooth decay-causing acids that destroy the enamel.
With these four tooth decay-causing foods and snacks, remember to only give them to your kids in moderation and make sure they drink plenty of water.
It is also equally important to encourage your kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day. With younger children, you may need to assist them with brushing and flossing.Kids Oral Health, Oral Hygiene