As adults, we know that what we eat and our overall health is extremely important to our day to day lives. The same goes for children. Daily exercise and a balanced diet are important for kids of all ages. Too often kids are given sugary snacks or drinks as a bribe for them to behave or as an award for doing something good. Although giving kids these types of foods are okay every once in a while, as parents, we should really try to limit these.
An overall poor diet may affect the development of your child’s teeth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, food does not cause tooth decay, eating does. Eating foods with high sugar content can play a role in tooth decay. It is important to monitor the type of food consumed and as always, make sure your kid brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day to help remove the bacteria that cause decay.
Here are some simple, helpful diet tips that can help with your kid’s dental health:
- Ask your pediatric or general dentist to help you assess your child’s diet.
- A balanced diet is key. Try to only provide sweets or starchy foods for meal times.
- If your child would like a snack, try to provide something nutritious and low in sugar.
- Try to keep your pantry and refrigerator full of healthy snacks and foods. Save the “fun foods” for a special occasion.
- Do not put your child to bed with a bottle full of milk, juice or formula. Once your child’s teeth are clean it’s best to give them water when going to bed.
- Always try to choose the sugar free option for soda and gum. Eliminating sugar where you can, will help in the long run!