There are three major factors that have an impact on your child's dental health: how well they practice dental hygiene, how often they visit an Edmonton dental clinic, and what they eat and drink.
The experienced Edmonton family dentists of the Azarko Dental Group see the beneficial and detrimental effects that different foods can have on children's teeth every single day.
Here are some foods that we know are bad for your child's teeth, and some foods that can actually protect against tooth and gum diseases:
The Worst Foods and Drinks
Kids love candy, but unfortunately so does the harmful bacteria that lives in their mouths. Sugar allows the bacteria to grow and multiply, increasing the risk for cavities and tooth decay.
Sticky sweets are harmful not only because they contain sugar, but because they stick to the teeth and expose them to sugar for prolonged periods of time. Even brushing may not get rid of sticky sweets entirely.
Starchy foods, such as chips, rice, pasta, and crackers, can also get stuck on and between teeth. Furthermore, saliva can quickly convert these foods to tooth-harming sugars.
Fruit juice is slowly losing its reputation as a healthy alternative to pop, as more people are taking note of its high sugar content. If you do give your child fruit juice once in a while, make sure they are drinking through a straw.
Carbonated soft drinks are not only bad for teeth because they are often loaded with sweeteners, but because they also tend to be acidic and harmful to tooth enamel.
The Best Foods and Drinks
Fibrous fruits and veggies
The fibre in fruits and vegetables helps fight cavities and tooth decay in two different ways: it encourages the flow of saliva and it essentially "scrubs" the teeth of any lingering food particles.
Dairy products also encourage the production of saliva which can carry food particles away, and they provide the body with tooth-building calcium.
Nuts, such as peanuts, cashews, and walnuts, are packed with the vitamins and minerals needed to make teeth health and strong. They make for a fantastic between-meal snack.
Many foods that are high in protein, such as eggs, fish, spinach, beans, and beef, are also high in calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, and D, all of which are used to build strong tooth enamel.
Drinking enough water is crucial for strong and healthy teeth and gums, as it flushes away food particles and allows the mouth to produce enough saliva.
Wondering About Other Foods? Ask an Edmonton Dentist
The above list is definitely not exhaustive, and you should get in touch with one of the Edmonton Dental Clinics of the Azarko Dental Group if you have any questions about other foods that make up a significant part of your child's diet.