How to maintain a child’s diet for optimum oral health

A child’s diet plays a very important role in maintaining healthy teeth. While the pros and cons of eating different food groups have had a fair share of debate – not everything has to be bad. Adequately and mindfully adding food items to your child’s diet regime can not only help maintain their overall health but their oral health as well.

Often sugar and processed carbs are considered the biggest villains. However, good nutrition involving all food groups in the daily routine and healthy food choices can help maintain good oral health along with daily brushing and flossing.

The Best Food Option For Your Child’s Diet

Diet works in mysterious ways. While some food items help strengthen the teeth, protecting them from cavities and other oral problems. Some food items on the other hand linger on the enamel surface, feeds on the natural bacteria in the mouth and wrecks havoc causing decay. Hence, it is always best to note which food items are worth giving your child.

Raw Fruits & Vegetables 

Raw fruits and vegetables are the hardest picks among dietry habits. However, they contribute most to the maintenance of good dental health. The fibre component in these vegetables such as apples, celery and carrots help to clean the bacteria during the chewing process. These food items also enhance saliva production which tends to wash away food particles minimising bacterial acid attacks. Vegetables which are a rich source of calcium including spinach and kale help strengthen the enamel surface making it more resistant to caries. 

If your kid is a picky eater try different textures and cuts. If they don’t consume solid vegetables try mashing them up or chopping them in a salad bowl. While some prefer partially cooked vegetables other children prefer raw. Trying different methods will help you to discover what your child truly enjoys. 

Protein Component 

Protein comes from a variety of sources including eggs, meat, legumes, peas and beans. Adequate protein intake strengthens the tooth enamel while reducing the chance of caries. 

Fluoridated Water 

Flouride is a star ingredient for good oral health as it helps to strengthen bones and teeth. It is a component commonly found in kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes to strengthen the enamel barrier. Meanwhile, a balanced diet does not guarantee an adequate fluoride intake important to maintain healthy teeth. Drinking water rich in fluoride intake has added benefits of cleaning and strengthening the teeth while reducing oral complications.

If you live in an area where fluoridated water is not an option. Topical fluoride applications, by the pediatric dentist, are preferred as they can better regulate the amount of fluoride administered.

Dairy

Dairy is another great option for not only maintaining oral health but also the general health of the children. Cheese, milk, and yoghurt are some of the options rich in calcium. Yoghurt contains probiotics which help to eliminate cavity-causing bacteria. Cheese reduces the risk of cavities by increasing the pH and saliva which help to wash off the bacteria and food debris. 

A balanced diet coupled with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits will ensure your child’s dental well-being for life. Instilling a habit is difficult so starting them young can be the key. 



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