Kids and Food For Better Dental Health
This article gives nutritional tips and nutritional advice for parents that will support good dental health in children.
In order to provide your family with sound nutritional foods in this day and age means being willing to look beyond the nearest grocery store. The stores today are full of foods that have their nutrition processed out of them. Find some good whole food or health food stores and look for foods that are high in fiber and nutrients and low in chemical additives and sugars.
Some suggestions for finding excellent health foods and snacks online:
Essential Nutritious Food
Children are in their growing stages and therefore require foods from each food group to maintain proper health. Include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in every meal. Normally, a child's diet has a higher concentration of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contain starches and sugars, some harmful and some essential. The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits are more beneficial, while the starchy carbohydrates in pasta and breads are more problematic.
Bacteria cause dental cavities. While it is true that bacteria thrive more on certain foods, they will live on residue from any food. Cookies, candies, pastries and cakes get the most attention when cavity producing foods are discussed. Yet, fruits, milk, peanut butter, pretzels, chips, and juices are equally detrimental. Regulating eating habits along with regular brushing habits will help tremendously.
Water is a subject that is so often overlooked in discussions of nutrition that I want to give it special attention here. Children will naturally appreciate water. Their bodies want it. Give your child water to drink instead of flavored drinks of any kind. Most people do not get enough good water in their bodies.
Water is a natural lubricant and cleanser. It is a necessary catalyst for most of the essential metabolism of the body as well as acting as a cleansing agent to flush waste and toxic materials from the cells and body as a whole.
Today, most water sources need extra filtering to make sure it doesn't contain more harmful ingredients than good. Bottled water is an alternative, though that can be expensive. Good inexpensive water filters can be found with a little research and well worth the effort.
Finally, just drinking water during and after eating will wash out the mouth and help dilute any remaining food substance left, reducing the risk of tooth decay enormously.
Tips to Maintain Good Dental Health in Children
* Avoid giving sticky food like raisins, honey, caramel, syrups, and molasses to children. Otherwise, insist on your children brushing their teeth immediately after eating such foods.
* Give them raw vegetables and fruits for snacks. Vegetables and fruits like cucumber, pear, celery, and melon stimulate the secretion of saliva during eating. This helps wash away sugars present in such fruits and vegetables and prevent any buildup of food residue.
* Give cheddar cheese as an alternative snack or for lunch. This triggers saliva formation and helps wash down food particles.
* Give children water instead of juices or soda. Juices and soda have high levels of sugar. Soda also has carbolic acid, which is extremely destructive to teeth. Diluting fruit juices with some water is also helpful.
* Use a fluoridated toothpaste if you choose for brushing. The beneficial effect of fluoride is that it helps to harden tooth enamel, thereby reducing tooth decay. Flossing removes food deposits between the teeth where brushing cannot.
* It is best to brush teeth well twice a day and preferably also after meals and snacks. Drink lots of water!
Article Tags: Dental Health
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Find out more about Children's dental health at: http://www.yourchildrensteeth.com Dr. Steven Brazis practices family and cosmetic dentistry in Sacramento, CA. He graduated from U.O.P. School of Dentistry in 1973. He can be reached at his web site: http://www.toothhaven.com