Did you know that tooth decay is common in children? About 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 – 11 years old have at least one untreated cavity. Unfortunately, untreated tooth decay can lead to pain and infections that affect eating and speaking. The good news is that cavities are preventable with good dental hygiene, proper nutrition, and regularly seeing your dentist in Airdrie.
While daily brushing and flossing are absolutely necessary, what we eat also plays a major role in our oral health. Especially for most children who love snacking and sugary food, it’s important to teach them how diet can affect their teeth. After all, it can be stressful for children to get a dental crown with their Airdrie dentist. Prevent is key – with that said, let’s take a closer look at the types of food to avoid and which food helps maintain good oral health.
Nutritious food for healthy teeth
Fruits and vegetables that have a high volume of water, such as:
Good sources of calcium such as:
- Cheese (Fun fact: Cheese triggers the flow of saliva, which washes food particles away)
- Yogurt (Go for plain sugar-free yogurt and add fruit)
Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals help prevent gum disease and are excellent for our overall health.
Foods to limit for maintaining healthy teeth
Of course, children will want treats every so often, and for busy parents, these foods are great convenience on the go. We understand that avoiding the following foods at all times is not realistic. For a healthy balance, we recommend limiting them as much as possible and have your child brush their teeth right after eating the following foods:
- Granola bars
- Peanut butter
- Fruit juice
- Potato chips
The starch and sugar from chewy and sticky food remain on the teeth, which is the main culprit that leads to tooth decay.
How can I help prevent cavities in my child’s teeth?
Along with a nutritious diet and limiting sugary and starchy foods, build good oral care habits with your child, including:
- Daily brushing and flossing, especially before bed
- Use fluoride toothpaste for children over two years old
- Use a smear of non-fluoride toothpaste for children under two years of age
- Help your child brush until six years of age or when they can demonstrate thorough brushing and flossing