Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. To know more about healthy eating habits, it is first important to learn how food can be harmful. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque on your teeth. The plaque eats the sugar in the food and turns it into acids. These powerful acids are strong enough to begin to break down and chew through the enamel on your teeth. The acids will continue to work for at least 20 minutes before they are neutralized. This cycle then will cause cavities.
A University of Chicago study takes this one step further and states that eating sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods four times a day, or over 60 grams of carbohydrates per day, significantly increases the risk of cavities. The American Dental Association recommends that you should brush your teeth, at least, two times a day, and ideally after every meal. Here are some tooth-friendly snacks you can also provide to help promote better oral health.
Apples can act as a natural toothbrush in that they stimulate your gums and increase saliva flow to the mouth, helping to cleanse teeth surface at you eat, thus preventing plaque build-up and cavities. Plus apples are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. They are fiber rich, which helps with digestion, and will keep you fuller longer.
Celery and Carrots
Crunchy, juicy vegetables that have a high water content will help to offset the sugar content. Also, as you chew the carrots and celery, it will stimulate saliva production in the mouth further preventing the formation of plaque. Eating these types of tooth-friendly snacks are almost like brushing your teeth naturally, and are a great choice for kids.
Whole Grain Snackes
These types of snacks are healthy and low in sugar, which is a double bonus. Consider offering plain popcorn, whole grain crackers and bread, brown rice and other alternative grains like quinoa and couscous. Whole grains are full of fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals which encourage healthy teeth and gums.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C help to maintain the collagen in your gums, which prevents gum infections. It also strengthens your gums, further helps in preventing periodontal disease. Vitamin C helps to repair connective tissue and helps the body fight infection. One serving of non-acidic fruit a day, like kiwi, strawberries, grapes or pears may help in preventing gingivitis.
The National Institutes of Health recommendation for daily calcium intake for children is from 700mg for toddlers and up to 1300mg for preteens. If calcium levels are too low, the body will leech it from teeth and bones, which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease. Calcium can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and unsweetened yogurts. Other tooth-friendly foods high in calcium are almonds, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
Water is essential for good oral health. Avoid sugary sodas and juices. Water is the primary ingredient of saliva and is important for tooth and gum health. Water is a rising age for food and other sugary drinks. Make sure to drink as much water as possible and try to offer it to children as much as possible throughout the day.
Tooth Fairy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry focuses on children, which are the heart of our practice. We promote prevention, diet, and advanced treatment for the infant, child, and adolescent in a compassionate and child-friendly environment. We especially encourage parents to be actively engaged in their child’s oral health.
For more information or to make an appointment contact us today: 410-897-1931.