Oral Health: Kids’ Nutrition Guide By a Pediatric Dentist in Arlington

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No one enjoys a trip to the dentist, especially young children. But a visit with a Hurst pediatric dentist is imperative if your child wants a healthy smile. Unfortunately, one-third of preschoolers have never seen a dentist.

When children visit a pediatric dentist, they can learn about good oral hygiene habits. Dentists can help kids understand how the foods they eat affect their teeth and what foods build strong smiles. 

As your local pediatric dentist in Arlington, we’re here to inform you and your children about teeth nutrition. Let’s explore what you should and shouldn’t be feeding your child if you want them to grow a strong set of teeth.

What Foods Are Good for Your Teeth?

A healthy and wholesome diet leads to a sound body and mind. There are a variety of delicious and nutritious ingredients that are perfect for building a healthy set of pearly whites.

Combine a wholesome diet, good oral care, and regular cleanings from your local Arlington kids dentist, and your child will have the best smile in town. 

Load up on Fruit and Vegetables

Replace carbohydrates with fruits and veggies. The best fruits and vegetables for your teeth are the ones that contain a high amount of water. Watery foods keep teeth clean and wash away lingering food particles.

Some of the best fruits and veggies for your teeth are:

  • Pears
  • Melons
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Onions
  • Carrots

Stick with produce that’s low in sugar and acidity, such as avocados, fennel, and honeydew. Bananas and raisins should be eaten in moderation. After consuming sugary or acidic fruits and veggies, make sure your child brushes their teeth.

Break Out the Cheese Board

Say cheese! Not only is cheese delicious to munch on, but it’s also a superfood for your teeth. 

Cheese is full of calcium and phosphate that aid in building a strong set of chompers. Cheese is not acidic, so it can reduce and balance oral pH levels. With a more balanced pH, your body will produce more saliva and experience fewer cavities.

Fill up on Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy breakfast for your teeth and a much healthier alternative than sugary cereal. Be sure to stick with a type that is plain or low in sugar, like Greek yogurt.

Yogurt is full of calcium and casein. These elements build strong enamel, which protects teeth from decay. Probiotics in yogurt work to balance pH levels, protect against harmful bacteria growth, and build hearty gums. 

Snack on Almonds

Almonds are high in protein and low in sugar. They make for a healthy midday snack for the whole body, especially your pearly whites.

When bad bacteria develop in your mouth, it can cause weak teeth, cavities, and gum disease. The calcium and protein in almonds protect your teeth from the bacteria. Add a half-cup of almonds to your child’s lunch to help them grow a strong and sturdy set of teeth.

Drink Plenty of Water

Kids need to drink a lot of water to develop healthy bodies. Water keeps your mouth clean and improves your overall oral hygiene. It washes away sugar and leftover food particles lingering on your child’s teeth. Without water, stains and cavities can develop.

Drinking water also fights off bad breath. Bad bacteria thrive when your mouth is dry, resulting in foul-smelling breath. Staying hydrated produces more saliva to keep the bacteria away.

In America, our water has fluoride in it. Fluoride is a healthy element that fights tooth decay and builds strong teeth in children. Fluoride can reduce tooth decay in children by 20% to 40%. Drinking plenty of water means your child’s teeth will receive proper amounts of fluoride to maintain a strong set of pearly whites.

What Foods Are Bad for Your Teeth?

Just like some foods build healthy teeth, there are certain ingredients your child should steer clear of.

A diet with too many bad foods leads to cavities and gum problems that get worse as the child ages. If your child is showing signs of tooth problems, don’t hesitate to contact your local pediatric dentist in Hurst.

Say No to Sticky Candy

Chewy and sticky candy like gummies, taffy, and caramel are the worst treats for your teeth.

The sticky substances get caught in between teeth. Sometimes the particles get so tightly wedged, your child’s toothbrush cannot remove them. The longer food particles sit, the more likely they are to cause tooth decay and cavities. 

The absolute worst candies for children are sticky and sour. Say no to Sour Skittles and Jolly Ranchers. Not only do the sticky candies increase tooth decay, but the sour acidity strips away tooth enamel. 

Steer Clear of Soda

Kids shouldn’t be drinking soda or sugary juices. The best choice is water, with everything else in moderation.

Experts have reported 39 grams of sugar in a cola, 44 grams of sugar in orange soda, and 42 grams of sugar in apple juice. Too much soda increases a child’s risk of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and cavities.

Soda may be sweet, but it has high acidity levels. The acidity wears off tooth enamel. With less enamel, teeth become more vulnerable to decay. Tooth erosion and cavities are common in children who frequently consume soda and sugary juices. 

Cut the Carbs

Starchy and refined carbohydrates linger in your mouth and break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on the sugar and create acid on your teeth. The acid leads to erosion and tooth decay.

Moderate the number of refined carbohydrates in your child’s diet. Cut back on bread, pasta, chips, and crackers. Replace them with teeth-healthy snacks like strawberries and celery.

Visit the Best Pediatric Dentist in Arlington

Take your children to the best pediatric dentist in Arlington, so they can learn how to take good care of their pearly whites. A healthy smile grows confidence and self-esteem. The key to a good set of teeth starts with proper nutrition and dental care at a young age.

If you’re searching for a trustworthy kids dentist in Arlington, look no further. We specialize in pediatric dentistry and orthodontic care. Click here to schedule an appointment with our team.

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