How to make your child's diet safe for his teeth
You are probably wondering what is a healthy diet? 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. These are the key groups according to the food pyramid.
Any pediatric dentist will tel you that your child needs a balanced diet for his teeth to develop properly. Following your pediatric dentist's advice will help your children have healthy gums and no cavities. If he can avoid certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, then he won't have any reason to be afraid when he goes to the family dentist.
Check how frequently they eat foods with sugar or starch in them. Foods with starch include breads, crackers, pasta 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 types of 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 catsup and salad dressings.
However your child doesn't have to give up all foods with sugar or starch because many provide the nutrients he 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, not as a snack. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit or toffee, are not easily washed away from the 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.
Keep in mind that a balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of fluoride for the development and maintenance of your child’s teeth. If you do not live in a fluoridated community or have an ideal amount of naturally occurring fluoride in your well water, your child may need a fluoride supplement during the years of tooth development. Your pediatric dentist can help assess how much supplemental fluoride your child needs, based upon the amount of fluoride in your drinking water and other potential sources of fluoride.
Here are some tips for your child's diet and dental health:
1. Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child's diet.
2. Shop smart! Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy "fun foods" just for special times.
3. Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
4. Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
5. Don't put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
6. If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.
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