Many people may have the concept that the health of their teeth and gums is linked to their brushing and flossing habits, while this is true, maintaining a balanced diet that contains low-sugary foods and is high in nutrients are essential for a child’s developing dental health. Children are not big fans of vegetables and hate hearing: “You have to eat your greens!” from their parents but there are some snacks that you as a parent can include in your child’s diet that will not only help their dental health as a child but will also serve as a guide for their own future dental care.
If your child has been brought up maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they will most likely behave the same way once they are adults and pass that knowledge on to their children, and so on. You may be asking yourself: “So what do I give them if they do not want to eat any veggies?” While most children only want cookies, candies, chocolate, or chips, which by the way are very terrible for dental health, you can provide your child with some healthy snack choices that will encourage them to want to eat it.
Dental Health Friendly Snacks for Children
The American Dental Association states that in order to maintain good health, eating a variety of foods is what needs to be done. Healthy proteins such as seeds, nuts, vegetables; fruits, whole-grain foods and low-fat dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt can assist with your child’s overall mouth health. Below will be described a few snacks that would be enjoyed by children but at the same time providing them with everything they need for their mouths maintenance like nutrients, minerals, and vitamins:
- Watermelon slices
- Different types of berries mixed with low-fat yogurt
- Slices of apple and cheddar cheese
- Whole grain pita dipped into hummus
- Cream cheese and celery
- And more
How Frequently Should I Give My Child These Snacks?
Plaque can be formed on top of your child’s teeth the more they eat snacks because it allows more bacteria to develop in their mouths. It is best to limit the number of snacks your child will be eating in a day, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Saliva serves as a cleaner for food particles that may still linger in your child’s mouth but it only functions well when there has been plenty of hours in between meals.
The Foods Children Love: Sugars and Starches
Limiting these foods can promote healthy dental care for your child. Foods such as candies, pastries, and cookies, which are all high in sugars, should not be consumed on a frequent scale. Also, foods like bread, muffins, and chips contain a high amount of carbohydrates that transform into sugars very quickly. Acids that attack the teeth’s enamel come from these two diets: high sugars and high-carbohydrates. There are tasty snacks that your child can eat as a healthier option that will still have the sugary taste that they love.
We recommended that you avoid giving your child too many snacks during the day and turning to healthier options that will encourage an overall strong oral health. Just be aware that although healthy snacks may be good for your child, too much of anything is never good. Reduce the number of times that you give your child snacks throughout the day.
As a parent, you can help your child with the maintenance of their teeth and gums by a well-balanced diet, making sure that they brush their teeth at least two times a day and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.