Saturday, July 2, 2011

Best Food for Kids and Their Teeth

Guest blog post by Hannah Daniel

When it comes to your kids, a simple smile can melt your heart. Keeping that smile in great condition should be a high priority, especially since poor oral hygiene can extend dental problems well into adulthood! The food they eat plays an important part in helping take care of their teeth.

Crunchy Food

Most kids love fun food that has a satisfying crunch, but its benefits go beyond using food as a plaything. It won’t replace a toothbrush, but that crunch actually helps stimulate the gum and scrub the teeth. It also stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away residue in the mouth as well as keeps things circulated so that it’s more difficult for bacteria to settle and start decaying the teeth. These are some of the best:

• Apples (especially if you bite straight into the apple instead of slicing it)
• Carrots
• Celery

Eat plenty of these fruits and vegetables for a fun, easy way to help keep their teeth clean.


In addition to being sweet and delicious, strawberries also help whiten the teeth. They are naturally acidic, so being in contact with the teeth even while chewing can help brighten them just a tiny bit. This only works with fresh strawberries, though – sugary strawberry treats actually do more harm than good.


We all know that calcium helps build strong bones, but many of us don’t consider that our teeth benefit from calcium as well. Calcium strengthens the teeth, and your kids can get it from milk, yogurt, cheese, and most other dairy products. Cheese especially has a high phosphate content which helps level the mouth’s pH balance to prevent bacteria from leading to cavities.


Drinking water is one of the most important ways you can promote dental health in your child. Juice and milk are healthy in moderation, but allowing children to drink a lot of it without a larger percentage of water can hurt their teeth since those drinks introduce extra sugars into the mouth. This becomes worse if young children go to bed with a bottle, allowing milk or juice to pool around the teeth, which is the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Additionally, water washes debris from the mouth and promotes saliva flow.

It’s still very important to take your child to the dentist every 6 months for a checkup and professional cleaning, but there’s a lot you can do in the meantime. Dental health doesn’t have to be expensive. It can all start with just a few simple foods that your kids already love.

Hannah Daniel writes for the 1Dental blog about dental and health care. She enjoys keeping people up to date on dental health news and helping them save money on dental care through discounts with CharterDental.

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