Healthy Diets, Healthy Smiles: The Link Between Nutrition and Your Child’s Dental Health

A healthy diet can go a long way when it comes to our dental health, so proper nutrition can be a major factor in creating healthy smiles for life. There are many great foods and drinks that can support the health of your child’s teeth and gums. At Dentistry for Children Georgia, our expert, Atlanta-area dental team is here to answer all your questions about your child’s dental hygiene and help keep their smiles healthy.

Recommended Foods for Optimal Oral Health

Foods that improve oral health are also great for your overall health. It’s a win-win! These foods promote healthy teeth and gums and help prevent oral health problems like bad breath and tooth decay.

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Raw fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, are a great way to discourage bacteria from sticking to your child’s teeth. Fruits that are high in water content, such as melons and cucumbers, also promote clean teeth and good health overall.
  • Lean Protein: Turkey, chicken, and fish are healthy options for adding more protein, vitamin D, and calcium into your child’s diet. All three of these nutrients support healthy teeth and strengthen enamel.
  • Cheese and Yogurt: Dairy is an excellent source of calcium, which is great for building strong teeth and bones. Yogurt is a great low-fat option to increase calcium intake, and the calcium and other nutrients in cheese help protect teeth and encourage saliva production.
  • Sugar-Free Gum: Sugar can linger on teeth, leading to cavities and irritated gums. Sugarless gum can help increase saliva production and decrease bacteria in the mouth. 

What Drinks are Good for Healthy Teeth?

Certain beverages can also support your child’s dental health and promote clean, healthy smiles. Just like with dental health-friendly food, ingredients matter for keeping your child’s teeth free of plaque and tartar. 

  • Plain Water: Most tap water contains fluoride, which helps fight cavities while strengthening and protecting your child’s teeth at the same time. 
  • Milk: Milk is a great source of calcium to promote strong teeth and decrease bacteria in your child’s mouth.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

Sugary foods and drinks are not optimal for dental health and excessive use can increase your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Sugar from soda, sweets, and juices can linger on teeth and eventually cause cavities. It’s important for these to be consumed in moderation while keeping up a great dental care regimen. 

Extra Tips for Promoting a Healthy Smile

The best way to help your child maintain a healthy smile is to continue an optimal oral care routine and a healthy lifestyle.

  • Limit Sugary Snacking: Keeping sugary snacking to a minimum helps prevent food particles from settling in your child’s teeth. When these particles stick around, they can encourage bacteria to grow, potentially causing cavities. 
  • Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day: Help your child stay on the track to healthy smiles by brushing twice a day. Proper brushing techniques plus a fluoride toothpaste will help your child achieve a lifetime of great dental hygiene.
  • Floss Daily: Round out a great oral health routine with daily flossing. Regular flossing will help your child remove plaque, tartar, and food particles from in between their teeth and get their smile squeaky clean. Floss picks are a great alternative for young children or those who may have difficulties maneuvering traditional floss to keep their teeth clean!

Have More Questions About Nutrition? Call Today!

If you have any questions about the link between nutrition and dental health, schedule an appointment with us today! The talented pediatric dental teams at any of our 22 convenient Dentistry for Children Georgia locations are here to help your child achieve happy, healthy smiles for life. 

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