A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. A balanced diet is one that includes the following major food groups.
Fruits Vegetables Grains Meat & Beans Milk
The must have a balanced diet for their teeth to develop properly. They also need a balanced diet for healthy gum tissue around the teeth. Equally important, a diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk for tooth decay.
First, be sure they have a balanced diet. Then, check how frequently they eat foods with sugar or starch in them. Foods with starch include breads, crackers, pasts and snacks, such as pretzels and potato chips. When checking for sugar, look beyond the sugar bowl and candy dish. A variety of foods contain one or more types of sugar, and all sugars can promote dental decay. Fruits, a few vegetables, and most milk products have at least one type of sugar.
Sugar can be found in many processed foods, even some that do not taste sweet. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich not only has sugar in the jelly, but may have sugar added to the peanut butter. Sugar is also added to such condiments as ketchup and salad dressings.
Certainly not! Many of these foods provide nutrients your child needs. You simply need to select and serve them wisely. A food with sugar or starch is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal and not as a snack. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit or toffee, are not easily washed away from teeth by saliva, water or milk. Therefore, they have more cavity-causing potential than foods more rapidly cleared from the teeth. Talk to your pediatric dentist about selecting and serving foods that protect your child’s dental health.
No. A balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of flouride for the development and maintenance of your child’s teeth. If you do not live in a flouridated community or have an ideal amount of naturally occuring flouride in your well water, your child may need a flouride supplementduring the years of tooth development. Your pediatric dentist can assess how much supplemental flouride your child needs, based upon the amount of flouride in your drinking water and other potential sources of flouride.
Do not nurse a young child to sleep or put him to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice or sweetened liquid. While a child sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth feeds bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by putting him to bed with nothing more than a pacifier or bottle of water.
Yes, here are some tips for your child’s diet and dental health.
- Ask your pediatric dentist to help assess your child’s diet and dental health.
- Shop smart! Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy fun foods just for special times.
- Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
- Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starcg for meal times.
- Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
- If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.
Content provided from the AAPD, a not-for-profit membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. The AAPD's 7,500 members are primary oral health care providers who offer comprehensive specialty treatment for millions of infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special health care needs. The AAPD also represents general dentists who treat a significant number of children in their practices. As advocates for children's oral health, the AAPD develops and promotes evidence-based policies and guidelines, fosters research, contributes to scholarly work concerning pediatric oral health, and educates health care providers, policymakes, and the public on ways to improve children's oral health. For further information, please visit the AAPD Web site at www.aapd.org