Prevent Dental Health Problems: Diet for Kids

parents feeding their daughter healthy food

When it comes to preventing dental problems in children, you need to go beyond daily brushing. You should also mind their diet, which should include plenty of calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium keeps the jaw bone strong and healthy to protect the teeth against periodontal diseases. Vitamin D, on the other hand, increases calcium absorption and helps decrease gum inflammation.

Food Sources for Healthy Teeth

Salt Lake City child dental service providers note that kids can get enough calcium from three to four servings of dairy food (and other sources) daily. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Green vegetables (like broccoli)
  • Salmon
  • Peas

Vitamin D is also present in dairy products, as well as natural sunlight. Other good sources to include your kid’s diet include:

  • Almond
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Squash
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish (sardines, tuna)

The Role of Fluoride

Fluoride helps prevent dental decay by strengthening the enamel. This compromises the ability of the bacteria to produce acid that can weaken the outer covering of the tooth. Fluoride can be found in water, but if the natural fluoride content of the water in your area is low, dentists may suggest fluoride toothpaste or supplements to strengthen the enamel of your kid’s teeth.

Keep in mind, however, that there are consequences when ingesting too much fluoride. Fluorosis is one of them, which causes subtle white lines across the teeth with some brown staining. You can talk to your dentist or pediatrician about the fluoride content of the water in your area to determine if your child still needs a supplement.

Effects of Sugar

Both refined and unrefined sugar can damage your teeth when consumed excessively. The worst types of sugars are those found in sticky foods like hard candies, lollipops, and dried fruit leathers, which cling to the teeth. Soda and sweetened beverages shouldn’t also be a part of your child’s daily diet, as they coat the teeth in sugar, contributing to enamel erosion.

Be wise about your food choices to protect your little one’s teeth. Don’t forget to keep up with regular dental visits (every six months or as often as recommended) to keep an eye on dental problems and address them before they get worse.