The first piece of dietary advice for dental health in almost every article we read was to drink plenty of water. Water helps clear away food that gets stuck in your teeth. That food that gets stuck, especially if it’s sugary, can release acids when it combines with the bacteria in your mouth. Those acids contribute to tooth decay. This is especially important for children as their brushing and flossing techniques have likely not been perfected. Also, kids are more likely to eat some of the viscous snacks that can stick around in their teeth for quite a while.
Certainly, fluoridated water will offer the greatest benefit and those who live in areas without it can make up the difference with fluoride toothpaste and even fluoride additives to help their kids’ teeth. We’re not interested in entering the political realm of the fluoride debate by the way. We just want to help you with your children’s dental health.
Excessive snacking is repeatedly noted to harmfully affect your teeth and your children’s teeth. Not only is the sticky, sugary nature of our common snacks bad for teeth, the timing is typically poor. We tend to generate more saliva at meals. This saliva has a similar effect to drinking water as it helps clear out stuck food and bacteria. If we snack on some candy and it sits there between our teeth and we’re not adequately salivating then decay can happen rather quickly. Fruits and vegetables were the common suggestions for snacks along with yogurt, nuts, and cheese. We also found repeated warnings about stickiness and, of course, pleas to drink water.
Has anyone got time for a lecture on soda? You know it’s bad and we’re not going to tell you anything different. What we’d like to add and hopefully repeat is that when we’re talking about your kids’ health and dental health there’s the component of habit and the habits that you hope to help your children develop. It’s important to set the example too. You may feel like your kids aren’t listening to you (and this may often be the case) but your behavior informs their future decisions.
Both calcium and phosphorus are helpful as we seek out protection and development of tooth enamel. Some of the best sources of calcium are dairy products, leafy greens, and almonds. You can expect phosphorus to come from proteins like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. There are many more forms of these minerals out there (without sugar) and it helps to develop these eating habits in your kids early.