A mouth healthy diet is a great way to help your child get a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Smoothies are a great way to have a refreshing, healthy snack. This summer, we suggest adding a few ingredients that can improve your overall oral health.
1 – Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of protein, which makes it an excellent ingredient for adding more substance to your smoothie. It’s also high in calcium and casein, and contains a high amount of healthy bacteria. The healthy bacteria in yogurt help eliminate bad bacteria that can stick to teeth and lead to cavities. When shopping for yogurt, we suggest buying nonfat Greek yogurt, which is typically the most nutritious and has the least amount of sugar.
2 – Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are high in fiber and low in calories, which makes them awesome vegetables for teeth! The fiber content in leafy greens helps by scrubbing away food debris and plaque while you eat them. But, did you know that kale also contains calcium and B vitamins? Calcium strengthens teeth, and B vitamins help treat and prevent gingivitis, often called gum disease. Try adding some shredded kale or spinach to your smoothie for a nutritional super boost.
3 – Watermelon
Watermelon is high in vitamin C, which greatly benefits your teeth and gums by preventing cell damage that can lead to gum degeneration. In fact, a lack of vitamin C in your diet can promote bleeding gums and make it more difficult for your gums to heal. By adding watermelon to your smoothie, you can get a healthy boost of vitamin C and help keep your gums healthy. You can also get vitamin C from citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit, however, these fruits are usually very acidic and need to be added in smaller portions.
BONUS – Avoid Sugar
Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on your teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the amount of sugar in your smoothies. Sweeten your smoothies naturally with honey, agave, or xylitol sweetener, which helps fight cavities.
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Cavities are the number one preventable disease affecting American children. By maintaining a healthier diet, you can help your child prevent cavities and promote a healthier smile. You should also encourage them to brush twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once daily. Also, visit our office every six months so that we can keep an eye on the state of your child’s smile and determine a treatment plan that keeps them cavity-free.