Kids have a lot of priorities, but taking great care of their bodies isn’t high on their list. They depend on their parents to provide them with the tools that help them to care for themselves. If it was up to your children, they may never brush their teeth again all while living on a diet of cotton candy and gum. So it falls to you as the parent to make sure that doesn’t happen, and that your kids’ teeth remain healthy and strong. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are a big part of that, as well as making sure the sugar doesn’t get out of hand. There are also foods that are great for kids’ teeth, so you just need to make sure they get plenty of them!
1. Yogurt- To keep your child from developing tooth decay or gum problems, try yogurt for breakfast or as a snack. Yogurt is full of calcium, which is great for growing bones. A study published in the Journal of Oral Dentistry found that kids who eat at least four servings of dairy per week were less likely to get cavities than those who didn’t.
2. Nuts- Foods that require a lot of chewing are generally good for your kids’ teeth and gums. Raw foods cause the mouth to salivate more, helping to reduce acids, which wear away at teeth enamel. Also, nuts are loaded with magnesium, phosphate and calcium, all of which promote healthy teeth. Cashews, walnuts, peanuts and almonds are all great choices for snacks.
3. Fresh Fruit- As you chew raw foods, they massage your gums and actually help to clean your teeth. Fresh fruit, like apples, oranges, pears and watermelon are all tasty and tooth friendly, and anything that creates more chewing is better. Fruits do contain natural sugars that can lead to cavities, but they’re much better than any kind of processed candies or other kinds of sugary treats.
4. Raw Veggies- Raw veggies are an even better choice than fruits for young teeth because they do the work of raw foods while not adding much in the sugar department. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, you name it. If there’s a veggie your kids can eat raw, then it’s going to be great for their teeth. The trick here is to get your kids to eat raw veggies to begin with, something many adults won’t even do.
5. Whole Grains- Raw foods seem to be the consistent refrain here on this list. From fruits to veggies, now we move on to whole grains. They really come in handy when it’ snack time because they can look more like a traditional kids’ snack than say, a bowl of broccoli florets. Whole grain crackers are a good place to start, along with cereals that your kid is bound to love. Many whole grain snacks are lower in sugar and calories because they’re geared toward healthy eaters, so it’s a double bonus to give them to your kids. Whole grains are also full of fiber, vitamins and minerals which are the things that help make your kids’ teeth healthy and strong.