According to the American Dental Association, the leading cause of tooth decay in kids is hard candies, shares Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD, a practicing family dentist in Clinton, MD at Audubon Dental Center. Chewing ice, a habit that most kids pick up from parents, is bad for the teeth as well. <a=rel”no follow”href=”https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth”>Food and drinks that have acid content like citrus fruits and sticky foods like dried fruits can also be bad for you and your kids’ teeth. Sugary drinks like sodas and junk food like chips are of course on top of the list. Unfortunately, these foods are usually the quick go-to lunches that parents pack for their kids.
If these are bad for the teeth, what then can you pack for your kid’s lunch? Here are top recommendations by dentists:
Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are foods that promote healthy teeth and gums, not just for kids but for adults as well. These foods are rich in protein and calcium, which are nutrients that help strengthen teeth. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that promote gut and gum health.
To reap optimum benefits, make sure that these are not infused with sugar.
It’s a well-known fact that vegetables are good for overall health but did you know that they greatly benefit you and your kid’s teeth as well? Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in calcium, which helps strengthen teeth. Fiber-rich vegetables like celery are also good for the teeth. Munching on a celery stalk, for instance, can help remove bacteria from the mouth as it promotes saliva production. Carrots are likewise good for the teeth as it is rich in vitamin A, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
Nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts help fight tooth decay as they fight bacteria in the mouth. Since these are also rich in calcium and phosphorous, they help strengthen your teeth. Overall, nuts are good for your kid’s health and well-being. Nuts usually contain several vitamins and minerals that are good for the health, including folic acid, magnesium, iron, vitamins E and B6, niacin, zinc, thiamine, and potassium; and the two previously mentioned calcium and phosphorous.
These mouth and teeth-healthy foods are just as easy to pack as chips and other junk food. With these foods, packing a healthier lunch for your kids has never been easier.
Got questions? Feel free to contact Audubon Dental Center at (301) 856-1122.