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Monday, December 19, 2016
What your child eats is the most important part of a healthy mouth!
Nutrition is one of the most important parts of oral health that can often be forgotten. Ensuring that your child has a nutritious diet is one of the biggest steps you can take to make sure they are healthy in many different ways. Since food directly touches the mouth and teeth, what your child eats is very important and needs to be chosen carefully.
What foods should your child eat, or not eat, to have a healthy mouth?
There are many different foods that can be good or bad for your child’s mouth. However, one of the most important aspects of your child’s nutrition is the amount of sugar that they eat. Sugar is in a lot of different foods, so your child gets plenty of sugar from a healthy diet. Kids should eat more healthy forms of natural sugar rather than unhealthy foods with unnatural or added sugar.
Some examples of healthy foods that have natural sugar include:
Whole wheat bread and pasta
100 percent juice
Some examples of unhealthy foods that have unnatural or added sugar include:
White bread and pasta
Soda or pop
When your child eats sugar, you should only let them eat it in a short period of time rather than snacking or drinking it all the time during the day. One of the biggest problems for your child’s mouth can be drinking sugary juices and pop or soda. The high amount of sugar in these drinks sits on the teeth and allows the bacteria in the mouth to grow. The bacteria will use the sugar to make acid and cause the teeth to rot.
What Should Be Included In a Healthy Meal?
MyPlate at www.choosemyplate.gov is a good tool to use to make sure your child is eating the right foods. MyPlate says that the food on you and your child’s plate should include: 25% fruit, 25% vegetables, 25% lean protein and 25% grains. In addition, at least half of your grains should come from whole grain sources such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread. Also, fat free or low fat dairy options should be chosen most of the time. By picking these foods for your child, you will ensure that they are going to be headed in the right direction of having a healthy mouth.
Last Reviewed: Nov 11, 2015
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University