Healthy teeth in children is often an indicator of good overall health. While a child’s dietary needs will change through the different stages of their growth and development, there’s no denying that most foods good for their overall health, are also good for their teeth.
Below are some tips to ensure your child gets the nutrition he or she needs for great health and teeth.
Strong Teeth are a Sign of Strong Bones
Strong bones are essential for optimal growth in children, the better to prevent fractures and muscle loss when they become adults. Strong bones are also essential to making teeth capable of resisting cavities and gum disease. With the right daily balance of vitamins, calcium, protein, and phosphorus found in meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and green leafy vegetables, you can give your child the necessary foundation for healthy bones and teeth.
Calcium is especially crucial to bone development in children, with most doctors and health institutions recommending the following calcium intake levels.
– Children between the ages of 1 to 3 – 700 mg of calcium daily
– Children between the ages of 4 to 8 – 1000 mg of calcium daily
– Children between the ages of 9 to 18 – 1300 mg of calcium daily
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are easily the most recognizable sources of calcium, but don’t forget other foods such as tofu, broccoli, arugula and more.
Foods to Avoid
There’s a reason why dentists recommend limiting sweets in a child’s diet. The sugar in cakes, chocolates, candy, and other sugar rich foods feed the bacteria growing in your mouth, helping to contribute to plaque buildup and cavities.
Soda is a notorious culprit in many common childhood dental problems, so consider keeping it out of your child’s diet, or at least severely limiting it.
Naturally found in several foods and water sources, fluoride is the active ingredient in many brands of toothpaste for good reason. The mineral fluoride helps to prevent cavities by redepositing itself on enamel, complementing the calcium in your teeth. In children under 6, fluoride is included in the composition of permanent teeth.
Your child’s health is important, poor oral health is a leading factor in many childhood problems and can affect children well into adulthood. Be sure to keep their teeth healthy with basic care and a healthy diet.