2 Ways Your Child's Diet Affects Their Oral Health

Dentist Blog

As a parent, you know the importance of a healthy diet for your child. Encouraging your children to eat healthy isn't always easy, especially when your kids would rather have fruit snacks and crackers over fruits and vegetables. However, your child's diet is one factor that influences their oral health. Check out a couple of the ways that your kid's diet can affect the health of their mouths.

1. Your Child's Diet May Influence Their Dental Products

One reason that pediatric dentists encourage children to eat nutritious foods is that these foods contain vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal dental health. If your child doesn't consume a sufficient quantity of healthy foods, this might affect what dental products they need to use.

For example, fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the teeth and ward off tooth decay. If your child's diet doesn't include items that contain fluoride, your dentist might recommend that your child use a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash to boost their fluoride consumption. Otherwise, your child may be at an increased risk of suffering from tooth decay or cavities. 

2. The Foods Your Child Consume Can Make It Difficult to Keep Their Teeth Clean

When trying to promote a diet conducive to your child's dental health, you need to take into account what kinds of foods your child is eating. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates, have a sticky or chewy texture, or linger on the teeth can all make it hard for your child to keep their teeth clean.

The carbohydrates in many foods (like crackers, cookies, pretzels, and muffins) linger on the teeth even once your child is done eating. Starches that comprise the carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay. Though a healthy diet includes some carbohydrates, your child shouldn't continuously snack on carb-rich foods. Food items that produce a lot of crumbs, like chips and cookies, are also more likely to get stuck in between the teeth and cause decay. 

Foods with chewy or sticky textures are also more prone to stay on your child's teeth. The texture makes it hard for your child's saliva to wash the food particles away. Foods that linger on the teeth (like hard candy and suckers) expose your child's teeth to sugar and carbohydrates for a lengthy period. 

Whenever possible, have your child brush their teeth when they are done eating to remove problematic food particles. You should also try to limit snacks and encourage your child to eat potentially problematic foods with their meals rather than as snacks. During a meal, your child's saliva production is higher and will be more likely to wash away the lingering food particles. 

Visit a kid's dentist regularly to help your child maintain good oral hygiene.


23 October 2019

Coping With Dental Emergencies

My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.