When you are with your children, monitoring their dietary habits is relatively easy. You control the food that is purchased for the home, and, generally speaking, prepare all their meals. But when they are outside the sphere of your parental guidance, they may make food decisions that are unwise for their personal dental health. Perhaps they are exposed to junk food at friends’ houses, vending machines, and even at the school cafeteria. Here are some suggestions for healthy yet tasty lunch options that you can introduce to your kids to help keep their dental hygiene is tip-top shape.
What Types of Foods are Healthy for My Kids’ Teeth?
Cheese is high in protein and calcium which can help build strong teeth. There are also dozens of different kinds of cheeses, so if you child does not like one, there is a good chance you can find one that he does like with all the available options. Cheese also contains another protein called casein, which benefits teeth by strengthening tooth enamel and helping to prevent cavities and tooth decay. You can add several slices to your child’s lunch on their own, or cheese can be incorporated into lunch items such as sandwiches and salads. String cheese is also a fun snack that kids just seem to love to eat!
Carrots are another great mouth-healthy snack for kids. They are full of vitamin A and fiber, and are an easy snack to transport and prepare for a child’s lunch. Carrots also stimulate saliva production which helps to prevent cavities by preventing the buildup of bacteria on the teeth. Baby carrots make an ideal healthy solution for lunches and are a great alternative to potato chips. If your kids aren’t too keen on plain carrots, a yogurt based dip is a way to get kids more interested in vegetables.
Similar to cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and casein, but it also contains healthy bacteria that is good for your child’s gut flora. This healthy bacteria help fight the bad bacteria that is known to cause cavities. Non-fat yogurt is best, and those containing fruits and flavorings generally have more sugars. Adding fresh fruit and possibly a bit of granola can make plain yogurt more appealing to kids.
Finally, apples are a high-fiber fruit, that have the ability to act as natural tooth cleansers. They have a fibrous texture, particularly on the skin, that is known to help scrub the gums, teeth, and tongue. They remove traces of plaque. Keep the skin on the apples, and offer them to your kids as a healthy dessert that isn’t all carbs and sugar.
One final oral hygiene tip is to encourage your child to rinse after lunch by swishing some water around their mouth and spitting it out after 30 seconds. This will remove food debris and can help to fight tooth decay. By following these suggestions, you can set your kids off right with healthy oral hygiene habits and make visits to Castle Creek Pediatric Dentistry all the more positive. Visit us today online, call, or stop by our North Ogden office to learn more!