One of the best ways to get, and keep, your child healthy during the summer months is to choose foods that are both good for their bodies and their teeth. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we’d like to share some smile-friendly foods, as well as some to avoid.
What to Eat
The basic food pyramid gives you some great guidelines to follow to ensure the right balance of dairy, protein, grains, and vegetables every day. However, when thinking specifically about foods that don’t damage teeth, there are few we would like to highlight.
- Cheese. Cheese can reduce the risk of cavities since it neutralizes acid. Not only that but cheese leaves behind a protective layer of film that keeps bacteria and acid from damaging teeth. It’s also packed with calcium. So stock up on some cheese sticks, and let your little ones munch away.
- Gum. That’s right, gum can be a wise choice for a little treat — as long as it’s sugarless. Chewing gum naturally produces saliva. The more saliva in the mouth, the more acid is washed away, and the chance for decay decreases.
- Veggies & Fruits. Crunchy vegetables and fruits are great choices for a healthy smile. Those with high water content like celery, pears, and apples help stimulate saliva production and decrease the effects of lingering sugars. The crispy texture also acts as a natural tooth buffer to polish teeth.
What to Avoid
Some foods may seem all right in moderation but aren’t so great for your smile.
- Candy, especially the ooey, gooey, chewy kind.
- Sticky dried fruits
- Tart citrus fruit
- Acid-packed tomatoes
- Sour lemons
Try limiting the amount of these foods in your child’s diet. Those high in sugar fuel bacteria and increase the chance for decay while the acidic foods damage enamel and weaken teeth.
In addition to having a diet packed with smile-friendly foods, regular visits to our Long Island pediatric dental office can not only help keep your child’s smile healthy, but they can also help keep her whole body healthy too.