Since cavity-causing bacteria thrive on a steady diet of sugar, forgoing sweet treats can definitely help your child avoid cavities well into the future – But that’s not the whole story. The food your child consumes can both actively prevent cavities from forming and help keep the whole tooth structure healthy through the years. With the right selection of snacks, you can rest assured that your child’s teeth have the best chance of thriving well through the adult years. Here are four beneficial snack ideas that are resoundingly approved by your child’s pediatric dentist.
Crackers often remain a staple in the cupboard from toddlerhood through the teenage years. Unfortunately, ordinary crackers made with white flour have high levels of carbohydrates, which act as sugar in the body. Switch to whole grain cracker varieties to satisfy your child’s hunger without the extra sugar. Look for whole grain varieties with seeds or nuts in the mix to boost the level of dietary potassium consumed, which helps build and protect strong bones and teeth.
Although sugar levels are high, the elimination of fresh fruit from the diet is not recommended due to their ability to provide the body with so many vitamins and minerals needed for great health. In addition, the lack of a sticky texture allows saliva to wash away much of the particles before the bacteria have a chance to feast. Furthermore, fresh fruit offers your child a healthy way to fulfill cravings for sweet treats. Offer fruit as a dessert after meals to establish a lasting healthy eating habit.
The combination of vitamin D and calcium in dairy products helps your child’s teeth remineralize damaged enamel. Unfortunately, many dairy products are high in sugar due to the lactose content in the milk base. To net the benefits of dairy products while controlling your child’s sugar intake, introduce low carb yogurt into the daily meal plan. Low carb yogurt tastes the same as normal yogurt and offers similar levels of vitamins and minerals that support great oral health.
Raw vegetables provide your child’s body with an enormous number of healthy vitamins and minerals without any excess sugar. The raw veggies mechanically remove bacteria and deposits on the enamel in addition to promoting extra saliva production that helps clean around each tooth. The production of extra saliva also helps boost the neutralization of acids that otherwise hang around the teeth as bacteria eliminate waste from their systems. To help ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy for life, serve plenty of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, with nearly every meal.
To keep your child’s teeth in great condition, remember to schedule regular exam and cleaning visits with your pediatric dentist. You can schedule an appointment at Nia Pediatric Dentistry by calling (770) 800-8986 or filling out our online request form. We will assess the health of your child’s teeth, perform a thorough cleaning and offer guidance about maintaining a dental-friendly diet through the years.
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