10 Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
Getting your child to eat right is hard enough as it is, but keeping up with their dental health can be just as challenging. An unhealthy diet can increase your child’s chances of developing cavities or even gum disease, so why not try to tackle both obstacles at the same time? Here is our list of 10 foods that can help your child have healthier teeth and gums.
Even though the saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” it can still apply to dentists…sort of. Although eating an apple doesn’t replace a thorough brushing of your teeth, it’s natural abrasiveness helps remove plaque and other pieces of food from your teeth. Try to throw in an apple with your child’s lunch every day so they can go back to class with a cleaner smile.
Much like apples, celery also does a good job of brushing off bacteria from your teeth. Celery is also high in water content and it requires more chewing than most foods, both promoting an increase in saliva production. Saliva naturally is a natural bacteria killer and can help get plaque off of your child’s teeth, but this one may prove harder to appeal to their appetite. We recommend trying to put a spread on the veggie to make it easier for your child to be interested, like cream cheese or peanut butter.
Spinach is the easiest to recommend as it is the hardest to taste, but all leafy greens can promote overall positive mouth health. Things like spinach have a high calcium content, something that helps strengthen and restore the enamel of your child’s teeth. Folic acid is another part of spinach and leafy greens that works to reduce inflammation of the gums and fight off plaque and other bacteria.
Especially hard cheeses, but all cheese is high in calcium nonetheless. The high calcium content builds up the enamel of your child’s tooth and counteracts the acidity of the mouth to help fight plaque and reduce the chances of tooth decay. Harder cheeses requiring more chewing which, like celery, increases saliva production for fighting off bacteria.
Almonds can be mixed in with just about anything and they do a great job of helping your teeth stay healthy. Calcium and phosphorous work together to build your child’s tooth strength and overall bone health.
This one may be a tough sell on your child, but for the baseball moms out there we recommend trying to get your son to replace sunflower seeds with an equally tasty bag of pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are also high in phosphorous and allow the body to better absorb other important vitamins and minerals. Phosphorous supports tooth enamel and helps hold your teeth in place.
Another vital nutrient in pumpkin seeds is zinc. Just 1 oz of pumpkin seeds will give you about one-third of your daily zinc needs. This vitamin strengthens your bones, and improves your gum health too! Other non-dental benefits include a stronger immune system, healthier hair, and digestion.
Around Halloween, you can also take the seeds from the insides of your Jack-o-Lanterns and bake them, making a nice addition to a meal or just a snack. Pumpkin seeds are also great additions to trail mix if you like to go on picnics, hikes, or long walks any time of the year.
If your child likes to fish, they’re in luck. Fish contains vitamin D, something they can also absorb from being in the sunlight, which helps the body’s absorption of calcium. Whether your child chooses fish or the great outdoors, make sure they are filling up on calcium to make the most of vitamin D’s benefits.
High in vitamin C, oranges help to build stronger blood vessels and reduce inflammation that could irritate your child’s gums. Vitamin C is also a key component of your body’s ability to produce collagen, a protein that deters periodontal disease, and sensitive gums.
Oranges also contain B vitamins which also promote healthy connective tissue. So, by eating oranges, you and your child will be getting at least two important nutrients that will improve your overall oral health.
Like any food high in antioxidants, berries are an overall healthy choice. Antioxidants specifically help the mouth, however, as they kill bacteria that could lead to inflammation and tooth decay. Antioxidants also keep your mouth safe from cell damage and infections.
One of the sweeter options on our list, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A works just like calcium and phosphorous to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. It also works to prevent a dry mouth and aids in the healing processes of the mouth.
Additionally, vitamin A helps promote and maintain healthy keratin levels. Keratin is a protein that supports healthy tooth enamel and therefore helps keep your mouth healthy.
Don’t Stop At Your Diet!
A healthy diet alone cannot prevent tooth decay and cavities. Therefore, we recommend you continue to establish good brushing habits with your child. Remember to include regular flossing as part of you and your child’s dental routine.
Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about you or your child’s teeth, don’t hesitate to ask! If you’d rather chat in person, regular appointments with a dentist are a good time to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s dental health.
Visit Snodgrass-King Dentistry in Middle Tennessee
Whether you’re young or young at heart, come visit Snodgrass and King at an office near you. We have several fun and friendly offices all over Williamson and Davidson County. Call today and schedule a time to come see us.