Promoting a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your child’s overall health, but certain foods can actually promote healthy teeth and gums too! As your child attends school this year, you can improve their oral health by packing some mouth-healthy lunch items. Here are four foods that will help your child earn a healthy smile, and easy to pack in school lunches.
Cheese is high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth. But the benefits of cheese don’t end there. It also contains a protein called casein which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. Try adding a couple of slices of cheese to your child’s lunch every day to give them more calcium and casein!
Apples are high-fiber fruits which naturally clean teeth as they’re being eaten! Apples scrub your teeth, gums and tongue as they’re being eaten because of their fibrous texture – particularly the skin. This helps fight plaque buildup, and helps remove surface stains from teeth. Apples also fight bad breath by removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue.
We suggest adding apple slices into your child’s lunch as a dessert substitute. Keep the skin on the apple slices, so that your child gets all of the oral health benefits.
Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and casein, but it also contains a high amount of healthy bacteria. The healthy bacteria in yogurt helps fight the bad bacteria that can stick to teeth and lead to cavities.
We suggest serving your child a cup of non fat Greek yogurt everyday as a healthy source of calcium.
Celery, Carrots and Raw Bell Pepper
Raw vegetables like carrots, celery and bell pepper are excellent snacking alternatives to unhealthy chips and crackers. Starchy carbs like potato chips and crackers can stick to teeth and cause unhealthy acid buildup that can lead to cavities. Fibrous vegetables like celery can actually clean teeth as they are consumed!
When packing your child’s lunch, choose vegetables instead of chips. They can improve their overall health, and won’t stick to their teeth like starchy snacks like chips.
Water is one of the best tools we have in keeping our mouths clean, especially fluoridated water, which helps make teeth more resistant to acidic foods. When preparing your child’s lunch, pack a water bottle instead of juice or soda.
Also, encourage them to swish water around after their meal help keep their mouth clean. Swishing water helps remove debris caught in teeth that can lead to enamel loss and acid buildup.
If you’re concerned about your child’s diet, and think that it may be affecting their teeth, then visit our office. We will work with you and discuss mouth-healthy foods that promote beautiful, healthy smiles. We will also work with you to find the treatment plan that best suits your child’s needs for better oral health.