Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, are all excellent sources of several different vitamins and minerals. In particular, dairy is high in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate. Calcium helps to remineralize teeth, repairing enamel and aiding in the development of strong bones. Dairy can help to reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities in children because it raises the pH levels in the mouth, making it an inhospitable environment for harmful oral bacteria. Cheese, in particular, can increase saliva production, which can help to wash away bacteria and the lingering food particles that feed them.
Dark, leafy greens are high in calcium and many other nutrients, including iron and antioxidants. Again, calcium plays a significant role in strengthening teeth, which can help to prevent the development of cavities. We know that getting children to eat leafy greens can be a challenge, but they can easily be snuck into foods including smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a mixture of fruits and vegetables that can aid in a healthy smile.
Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Crunchy fruits and vegetables make an excellent snack between meals. Not only do they provide a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals, foods like raw apples, carrots, and celery work to scrub the teeth while your child chews. They essentially work like a toothbrush while your child eats, removing plaque and bacteria buildup from the surfaces of their teeth. This can help to ensure that their teeth stay clean throughout the day.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers. It is an essential vitamin that can help to kill harmful oral bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of your child developing gum disease. Vitamin C can prevent scurvy as well as boost collagen levels in the gums, which aids in keeping the tissue healthy.
Lean proteins, including eggs, fish, poultry, and other lean meats, provide phosphorous. Phosphorus, like calcium, is important for helping to strengthen tooth enamel, which helps to better protect the teeth against the development of tooth decay and cavities.
The Importance of Water
It is important that your child drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water keeps your child hydrated, which can prevent a condition known as dry mouth. With a dry mouth, the body cannot produce adequate saliva. The mouth then becomes the perfect environment for bacterial growth. Staying hydrated prevents this condition. Drinking plenty of water also helps to wash away food particles and oral bacteria.
A well-balanced diet is important for whole body healthy, as well as a beautiful, healthy smile. If you have any questions or concerns, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.