Encouraging your child to eat a diet rich in nutritious foods does more than just affect their overall physical health. Your child's eating habits may be greatly affecting their oral health as well. Here are three primary dietary components that impact the oral health of children.
Fruits and Vegetables
The antioxidant benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables also positively affect a person's oral health. While a moderate amount of any fruit is healthy, it should be noted that fruits that are highly acidic can actually damage the tooth enamel. This is why you should never suck on lemons or other fruits that contain high amounts of acids. Meanwhile, fruits such as strawberries act as natural teeth whiteners, making them a good choice. Vegetables that contain a high amount of fiber and water are also especially healthy for teeth.
It is no secret that an excess amount of sugar can have detrimental effects on a child's overall oral health. Increased blood sugar levels can lead to an increase of inflammation, which can make it difficult for the body to combat oral diseases such as gingivitis. It is also important to remember that cutting all sugar out of a child's diet is unhealthy. There are a number of fruits that contain naturally occurring fructose. While it is a good idea to watch out for the consumption of too much refined sugar, it is not recommended for fruits to be avoided just because it contains sugar.
The benefits of whole grains stretch well beyond the protection that they provide against obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer. A diet that is rich in whole grains has also been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease. The many vitamins and minerals that are present in whole grains serve to keep both the teeth and gums healthy and functioning at optimal levels. Magnesium is a powerful force in encouraging strong enamel while vitamin E works to reduce inflammation and guard against gum disease. It is easy to incorporate whole grains into your diet simply by swapping out some of your favorite foods with their whole-grain counterpart. For example, try substituting brown rice for white rice or whole-grain pasta for white pasta.
Encouraging your child to practice healthy eating habits will pay off big dividends when it comes to oral health. You will never regret making the effort to take special care of your child's teeth and gums.
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