They say you are what you eat and your teeth are no different! Choosing healthy foods that strengthen your body rather than hurt it is the best way to have a lifetime of healthy smiles and decay free days. The foods you eat affect your overall health and the health of your teeth and gums. Sugary sodas and snacks put you at risk for tooth decay, which is the number one most common chronic childhood disease. Tooth decay happens when plaque and sugar combine to create an acid that attacks your teeth, but rest assured tooth decay is entirely preventable!
Any food that contains sugar can contribute to tooth decay. Limiting the amount of sugar your kids eat decreases their risk of developing cavities. Encouraging a balanced diet and great oral care will help keep your kids cavity free and healthy. Here are some tips to keep in mind when thinking about your child’s meals and snacks:
- Encourage plenty of water and nix sodas and sugary sports drinks.
- Remember that fruits and veggies should make up half of what your child eats every day.
- Half of your child’s grains should be whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
- Make lean protein choices and try to vary protein to include eggs, beans, peas, and legumes, in addition to lean beef, skinless poultry, and fish.
- Limit the number of snacks your child eats and encourage healthy snacks like fruits and veggies. Remember that it’s better to eat foods as part of a meal, rather than snacking throughout the day because more saliva is released during a meal and helps to lessen the effects of acids.
Your body is a complex machine that requires lots of care. Helping your child to choose healthy foods and snacks will keep their teeth and the rest of their body healthy. For a lifetime full of healthy smiles, remember that you are what you eat! If you have questions about the best foods for your child’s oral health, contact the team at Sunshine Smiles!