Sugary, starchy, and acidic foods can cause tooth decay if they’re eaten frequently or remain on teeth for a long time. We suggest teaching your child to choose healthier foods and to take care of their teeth properly. Use these food and nutrition tips to keep your child smiling.
- Feed Kids Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that have a high volume of water (like pears, melons, and cucumbers) are low in sugar, and the crunching they require actually helps clean the teeth. Try to limit your child’s intake of foods like bananas and dried fruits because they’re higher in sugar. When your child does eat them, just be sure to brush their teeth after.
- Stay Away from Sticky, Starchy Foods & Sugary Beverages
Foods like raisins, dried fruit, granola bars, cookies, hard candies, jelly beans, honey, chewy caramels, and syrup tend to stick to the teeth and are difficult for saliva to wash away. Sugary beverages such as soda and fruit juice also have a negative effect in your child’s mouth. They continuously coat the teeth with sugar, which can result in tooth decay. Have your child brush their teeth right after eating or drinking these items, and try to focus their attention on foods that are unsweetened or sugar-free.
- Make Better Bottles at Bedtime
When giving your toddler a bottle before naps and at bedtime, try filling it with plain water rather than sugary milk or juice. This will prevent their teeth from long-term exposure to the sugars that cause tooth decay. If giving a bottle of milk, try to brush their teeth before sleeping so that the sugars do not coat their teeth overnight.
- Brush and Floss Your Child’s Teeth Every Day
Be sure to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day and floss their teeth at least once a day to help remove plaque and food between teeth and below the gum line. Ask your pediatric dentist to show you and your child the most appropriate oral hygiene techniques.
- Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist Early
Dental experts recommend taking your child for their first pediatric dentist visit no later than their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth erupts through the gums. Then, this should be followed by regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent, treat, and detect dental problems early.