Nutrition and Your Child’s Oral Health

Good nutrition is extremely important and plays a huge role in the health of children including their teeth. Fruit and vegetables are the best foods that your kids can consume, as they are low in sugar, have a high water content and are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C which helps prevent bleeding gums. Calcium (Milk, Cheese etc…) contributes to bone strength and plays a part in making sure your child’s nerves and muscles function correctly. Calcium also re-mineralises the enamel on their teeth.

However, it is also very important for parents to be mindful of some of the foods that are bad for their children. Sugar leads to severe tooth decay as well contributing to obesity. It is important to avoid sugary foods and drinks and remember that there are hidden sugars included in products such as pasta sauce, salad dressings and in some breads and milks. Parents must also be cautious of the snacks children are eating. Snacks are a huge hit with children but they tend to have a hidden high sugar, high salt and high fat content. There are many kid-friendly snacks that are just as delicious as they are healthy, these include yogurt, nuts/seeds, sliced fruit and vegetables etc. Research shows that a child is less likely to brush after eating a snack so by switching to healthier snack alternatives, parents are already protecting their child’s oral health.

 The link between nutrition and healthy teeth is vital for the growth and development of children. It strengthens not only their bones, but their teeth too, which in turn helps children resist tooth decay and prevent gum disease. Foods that are rich in vitamins, calcium and protein are the building blocks for healthy teeth and bones.

Teeth Friendly Foods

  • Apples, Celery and Carrots – chewing crunchy, high fibre fruits and vegetables cause less plaque.
  • Milk, Cheese and Yogurt – Dairy is an excellent source of calcium, phosphates and Vitamin D which helps strengthen and protect their teeth.
  • Nuts and Seeds – These replenish the minerals to the tooth enamel that acids remove.
  • Eggs – Eggs are a great source of protein, phosphates and vitamin D which are extremely important minerals for oral health and general health.
  • Broccoli and Leafy Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that  keep our bodies healthy and tooth enamel healthy and strong.

Teeth Damaging Foods

  • Sugary Drinks – acids and sugar found in carbonated soft drinks and juice combine to cause tooth damage,  gum disease and obesity.
  • Citrus Fruit – Grapefruit and Lemon are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel overtime and should only be taken sparingly.
  • Chewy Sweets – these stick to teeth for quite a long time which can dissolve tooth enamel.
  • Chips, Bread and Pasta – Starches in white flour and chips turn to simple sugars in the body, and if taken in excess can lead to tooth decay and obesity.

Top 2 healthy teeth habits

  1. Brush their teeth at least twice a day
  2. Visit the dentist at least once a year