Children ages 6-13 years especially need a healthy nutrient intake to support their rapid growth. Much like the rest of the body, our teeth also need healthy foods to stay in good health. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, such as candies and other sweet treats. These foods increase the risk of tooth decay. Instead, choose foods that are nutritious such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products.
The number of times we eat in a day also plays a factor to our risk of tooth decay. It is important to limit opportunities you provide for sugars found in our food to break down on your tooth surfaces and cause tooth decay. Try to limit snacks to no more than three times per day and rinse your mouth each time to clear food off from your teeth. When snacking, choose healthier options like unsalted and unsweetened foods, fruits, nuts, seeds etc.
Chose Healthy Drinks for Healthy Teeth
What you drink is as important as what you eat. Drinking water is one of the easiest thing you can do to help prevent cavities. Juice, soda or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away the tooth enamel, the outer shell of your teeth. Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and sugar.
Your tap water might contain a mineral called fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay. You can find out more about your tap water’s safety and fluoride facts by calling your local water board or visiting them online.
Milk contains calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients help build and maintain strong bones and teeth. This is especially important for children. Other milk choices include soy milk or plant-based milk products such as almond milk, which are fortified with calcium.