Yes, eating an excessive amount of candy can cause cavities – but did you know that a lot of other foods actually strengthen kids’ teeth? Healthy food doesn’t just satisfy your kid’s growing body—they can clean her smile too! Here, dentists share the way to strengthen teeth between brushings.
There are several different types of bacteria in your child’s mouth, and few of them can cause gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease (read more about Bleeding Gums and Oral Health here), says Melvin Pierson, DDS, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. vitamin C in fruits like oranges, limes, kiwis, cantaloupe, papaya, and strawberries helps kill these bacteria, and it also promotes a healthy supply of collagen within the gums. Other good vegetable sources: red, yellow, and orange peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. However, dentists say that youngsters should wait for a minimum of half an hour before brushing their teeth after having citrus foods or drinks. That’s because acid within the fruit can temporarily weaken enamel and leave teeth susceptible to erosion caused by brushing.
contains natural probiotic bacteria that some studies suggest help fight the bacteria that cause plaque buildup and gingivitis. Just make sure to select a low-sugar or no-sugar variety for your child’s breakfast.
Starchy carbohydrates like bread, white potatoes, and pasta break down into sugar. This sugar feeds other sorts of bacteria in your child’s mouth that produce cavity-causing acid. When your child drinks milk or eats cheese – which are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate – it raises the pH level in his mouth, lowers acid levels, and reduces the danger of cavity, Calcium is additionally beneficial in several other ways: It mixes with plaque and sticks to teeth, further protecting them from lingering acid; it repairs damaged enamel; and it strengthens the bones around your child’s teeth, making them more immune to periodontitis later in life.
Raw carrots, celery, cucumbers, cauliflower, green beans, and snap peas are “chewing foods” that mechanically clean your child’s teeth and gums. “These foods naturally scrape away plaque that builds up between meals or that youngsters miss when brushing,
Encourage your child to eat slowly and to completely chew each crunchy mouthful.
Studies say that nuts and seeds contain natural fats that coat teeth and help protect against bacteria. The oils in the seeds help to strengthen the enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Sunflower seeds also contain folic acid, which is a vitamin that reduces gingivitis.
The next time your child begs for a pack in the checkout line, you can say yes. Saliva loosens plaque, increases the number of natural antibodies in the mouth, and keeps gums hydrated. Chewing any food stimulates saliva production, but chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). In fact, the ADA recently gave its Seal of Acceptance to Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse gums after Wrigley conducted studies demonstrating its brands’ benefits. However, kids shouldn’t chew gum until at least age 4, when you can trust them not to swallow it.
Eggs, especially yolks, contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the calcium and phosphate (minerals needed to build and protect tooth enamel) in other foods.
Water is often overlooked, but saliva, which contains 95 percent water, is an important internal dental-health moderator. Serve H2O with your meals to rehydrate your child and help wash away leftover food particles.
Some of these foods are sticky or sugary. Others get stuck between teeth or lower pH levels in the mouth. So if your kid eats them, be sure he brushes his teeth well afterward (read more about 10 Mistakes You Make While Cleaning Your Teeth)
Gummy candy (even vitamins)
Fruit drinks with high-fructose corn syrup
Bubble gum (with sugar)
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment