Diet plays a leading role in your child’s oral health, which is why it’s important to send them to school with meals and snacks that will make their dentist happy. The right foods will promote healthy development and also combat decay. Use the following as a starting point and make sure to promote proper brushing and flossing at home.
Calcium is the building block of teeth. It fortifies enamel and keeps decay-causing bacteria at bay. Milk is the most famous source of calcium, but yogurt is also a great place to find it.
Just make sure to pack your child a natural, sugar-free option. Artificial flavorings and sugars will promote decay and cancel out the benefits. Adding blueberries or sliced strawberries will add some natural sweetening if your child isn’t a fan of plain yogurt.
Carrots are packed with nutrients and have their own brushing power. When your child chews, the texture of the carrot will naturally scrub plaque from their teeth the same way a toothbrush does. Carrots also contain the compound keratin and vitamin A to both combat plaque and reinforce tooth enamel, the protective layer on each tooth.
Apples have the same brushing qualities as carrots and are a tasty flavor complement. They’re also packed with fiber, which promotes saliva production. This is beneficial after eating because saliva will wash food particles from teeth. The vitamin K in apples also helps the body absorb and process calcium and phosphorus so it can more efficiently fortify enamel.
Oranges have a high vitamin C content. This nutrient will strengthen the blood vessels in your child’s gums to keep them healthy. Along with at-home dental care and trips to the dentist, this will combat gingivitis—the precursor to serious gum disease. Just make sure your child drinks water while eating oranges so they flush the acids from their mouth.