It’s about that time of year for your child to head back-to-school. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure your little one is well-cared for even when they’re out of your sight, and that means making sure they always have a healthy lunch to enjoy. But be careful when it comes to their teeth! Some foods – like sugary candies and starch-filled potato chips – could lead to decay over time. Here are 4 alternatives that will make your young scholar’s dentist happy.
1. MILK, CHEESE AND YOGURT
As you likely know, cavities are caused by the acids secreted by bacteria in the mouth. Dairy products such as milk and cheese can help prevent such decay by lowering the pH level in the mouth. The calcium in these foods will stick to your child’s teeth, protecting them and repairing small amounts of damage; it can also strengthen nearby bones, making them more resistant to gum disease.
In addition to the above benefits, low-fat yogurt contains a probiotic bacterium that, according to some studies, will fight against the more harmful bacteria in plaque buildup.
It goes without saying that there are plenty of vitamins in apples that make them a great choice for a snack on their own, but these crunchy fruits are also excellent for your child’s pearly whites. The texture of their thick skins will scrub the teeth while your little one is chewing them; in other words, an apple can act as a natural toothbrush! It can’t fully replace the real thing, of course, but it can reduce the level of plaque that builds up during the day.
3. CARROTS AND CELERY
Carrots and celery are a lot like apples in that chewing them helps to clean the teeth. Encourage your child to eat slowly and chew their foods completely so that they get the full benefits; if they pick up this habit at home, they’ll be more likely to do it at school as well.
Oranges are filled with vitamin C, which helps kill bacteria and promotes the production of collagen in the gums; this prevents scurvy, a condition that can lead to gum disease, anemia, and general weakness.
Remember, while oranges are generally very healthy for the body, the citric acid they contain will temporarily weaken tooth enamel and leave them more vulnerable to erosion. For this reason, whenever your child has an orange at home, make sure they wait at least 30 minutes before brushing their teeth.
You can ask a children’s dentist in Richardson about other foods that will help keep your little one’s teeth healthy and strong. Make sure their smile continues to shine even while they’re busy learning!
ABOUT THE PRACTICE
At Breckinridge Dental and Orthodontics, three dentists and an orthodontist combine their talents to bring families in Richardson the high-quality care they deserve. Patients of all ages are welcome, from infants who just got their first teeth to older children who need braces. To schedule an appointment to discuss your little one’s oral health, visit their website or call (972) 248-9119.