Diet and Snacking
Can you suggest a healthy diet for my children?
You should include the major food groups in your child’s meals every day. They should consist of fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, dairy products, meat, fish and eggs. A healthy, balanced diet naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. Diet can vary for children with special needs.
Does my children’s diet affect their dental health?
If your child has a diet high in carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, they are at a higher risk of tooth decay. If your child has a balanced diet, the teeth will develop properly and have healthy gum tissue.
What can I do to make my children’s diet safe this their teeth?
A variety of foods contain sugar, and all sugars promote tooth decay. Foods with starch turn into sugar, and include crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips. Even fruits, a few vegetables and most milk products have sugar. Be sure your child has a balanced diet by checking how often they eat foods with sugar or starch in them.
The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consumption of foods that contain sugars and starches should be decreased. These foods can include candies, cookies, chips and crackers.
Healthier foods, such as vegetables, yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth. Unless a child is allergic to these foods, then she should reduce them.
Infant Oral Care
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. Research has shown evidence that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Talk to your doctor or dentist about ways you can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy.
Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children. Mother’s should follow these simple steps to decrease the risk of spreading cavity-causing bacteria:
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends to visit the dentist when babies are 1 year old. We call it the dental home.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
- Brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce bacterial plaque.
- Proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar & starch.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste recommended by the ADA and rinse every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse with .05 % sodium fluoride in order to reduce plaque levels.
- Don’t share utensils, cups or food which can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
- Use of xylitol chewing gum (4 pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child’s caries rate.