When it comes to children’s health, parents try to do their best to ensure overall development and well-being. Just like other aspects of health, keeping good dental hygiene is very crucial considering it can prevent many diseases from developing in the mouth. Kids are however known to adore sweets and considering shop shelves these days are replete with these sugary treats and junk foods, items that usually stick to teeth and lead to cavities, it is important to inculcate healthy eating habits in kids from an early age.
Some of the worst foods for your child’s teeth can be those which are high on sugar. Unfortunately, these are also the foods that the kids can’t resist. Experts, however, say the intake of these foods should be limited.
“Sugar should be limited, and sugary beverages such as soda or pop, sweetened juice, and punch should be avoided. Sugar attracts the microscopic bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease, in addition to developing enamel eating acids,” says Dr Riddhi Katara, founder of Experteeth Dental Care.
ALSO READ: Are you making these mistakes with your kid’s dental health?
Best foods for teeth
1. Nuts, beans, grapes, apples
Foods that fight against dental infections should be added to children’s diet for healthy gums and teeth.
“Foods rich in antioxidants should be added to kids’ diets because it fights against inflammation and dental infections and thus protects gums and from other dental diseases. Nuts, beans, grapes and apples are a great source of antioxidants,” says Dr Katara.
2. Strawberries, broccoli, oranges
“Vitamin C must be included in a dental health diet plan for kids because they help prevent scurvy leading to swollen gums and bleeding both in kids and adults alike. Strawberries and Broccoli are a great source of Vitamin C,” says the dentist.
Spinach leaf helps protect tooth enamel from wearing and tearing. Enamel is made of mainly calcium and phosphorus and foods rich in these two elements is a safeguard against erosion of enamel, says the expert.
4. Balanced meals
Eat well-balanced meals consisting of fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, salads, dairy and lean meats and fish unless you have a special diet or are under dietary restrictions.
How to make you child a healthy eater
* Work on presentation
One of the reasons children do not get attracted to healthy food is their dull appearance. The expert says parents can make it more appealing to them by tweaking the taste and the way of presentation.
“It is always a good idea to keep a close eye on what your child eats throughout the day. It is beneficial to focus more on nutritious foods that are good for their overall health,” says Dr Katara.
* Prepare sweets at home
There are many items on the market today that claim to be sugar-free but aren’t. Read nutrition labels so you can make food choices that are low in sugar. Parents must be more cautious while making such decisions.
“Treats like candy, cake, cookies and ice cream should be given – only as treats! Because of their colour and appearance, such foods are appealing to children. Rather, a parent can prepare such sweets at home with careful ingredient selection,” says the dentist.