Teaching your child good eating habits now will ensure he has a lifetime of healthy teeth. The foods you feed your child every day will have a lasting impact on his smile. Here are some children’s diet tips to help you keep your child’s smile shining bright.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are more likely to cause tooth decay than others because of the ingredients within them. Bacteria in your child’s mouth will feed on sugars, starches, and carbohydrates, so it is best to reduce the intake of foods that contain these features. Most candy and junk food are bad for your child’s health overall, so you should try to stay away from them as much as possible. The occasional candy bar is fine, but do not make a habit out of snacking on unhealthy treats.
Best Children’s Diet for Healthy Teeth
Your child should eat a well-balanced diet to help his teeth stay healthy and strong. Some of the best foods for a child’s diet include:
- Lean Meats
- Proteins (Nuts)
The types of fruits and vegetables your child likes will vary based on his personal tastes, but encourage him to try different options. Avoid bananas and raisins if possible as these fruits have concentrated sugars that can lead to tooth decay. If you are going to feed your child these healthy treats, brush your teeth together shortly afterward.
Tips for Getting Your Child to Eat Well
Since most children love cakes, cookies, candies, and other sugary treats, it may be hard to cut them out of their diet completely. If you are going to give your kid something like this to eat, try to use it as a dessert for a meal – not a standalone snack. The saliva build-up from the other foods and the drink your child has with the meal will help wash away sugars that may otherwise get trapped in the mouth.
Stay away from sticky foods like caramel, honey, and molasses. These foods are difficult to get out with brushing, and they can be hard for your child’s saliva to wash out on its own.
Keep snacking to a minimum. In between meals, your child’s mouth works to clear out the sugars and food particles tooth-decaying bacteria will feed on. You can greatly reduce the risk of cavities by having your child drink water instead of munching on a snack between meals.
Ask your child dentist about other ways to promote a healthy smile for your child, and keep up with your semi-annual cleanings as needed.