Good nutrition plays a large role in your child’s dental health. Brushing and flossing help keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong. However, a balanced diet will help to boost your child’s immune system, leaving them less vulnerable to oral disease.
How often and what your child eats has been found to affect your child’s dental health. Eating starchy foods such as crackers, bread, cookies, and candy causes the bacteria in their mouth to feed on tooth enamel. The bacteria then produce acids, which attack your child’s teeth for up to 20 minutes or more. Foods that stick to their teeth or that are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying tooth enamel.
Sticky/slow to dissolve foods
- Granola bars
- Chewy fruit snacks
- Dried fruit
- Hard candy
Sticky and starchy foods create less acid when eaten as part of a meal. Saliva production increases at mealtime, rinsing away food particles, and neutralizing harmful acids.
Foods such as nuts, cheese, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay causing bacteria in the mouth.