As a parent, you work hard to ensure that your child develops properly and stays healthy. In addition to their physical well-being, you strive to promote a healthy smile. You encourage proper brushing and flossing habits to prevent complications with their teeth and gums. Despite your best efforts, you may be placing their smile at risk by giving them snacks that are damaging to their oral health. Although fruit snacks, cookies, and other sugary treats are convenient, they increase their risk for tooth decay. To keep their smile healthy, your dentist in Greenfield has some great alternatives for snack time.
Combat Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the top chronic childhood illness in American. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of U.S. children will have a cavity by the time they start kindergarten. As a result, they are 3 times as likely to miss a day of school due to a toothache.
Cavities are common in children because they do not have the best brushing and flossing habits. As a result, harmful bacteria and plaque become trapped in the small crevasses in their teeth, like the back molars.
To reduce your child’s risk for tooth decay, brushing and flossing are not enough. They also need to eat a balanced diet that is limited in sugars and starches.
Healthy Snacks to Prevent Cavities
The American Dental Association recommends that children eat a variety of foods to promote their dental health. Not only are the foods your child eats important for the development of their teeth but for preventing tooth decay and keeping their gums healthy as well.
During snack time, there are a few key foods that you should include in their diet, such as:
- Low-fat dairy products, like cheese and yogurt
- Fresh fruits, like apples, watermelons, or berries
- Crispy vegetables, like celery, dark leafy lettuce, and carrots
- Unsalted nuts
- Whole grain breads
By making a few simple changes to your child’s snacks, you can help to reduce their risk of tooth decay. In addition to the changes, limit how often your child eats. Although they always seem to be hungry, the more frequently they eat, the more bacteria will flourish in their mouth. It is recommended that they have two snacks per day—one in between each of the three meals throughout the day.
Foster a Healthy Smile
In addition to the oral hygiene habits that you encourage at home, do not forget to take your child to their children’s dentist in Greenfield twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. With the right care at home and preventive services from your dentist, you will help to ensure that they develop and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
About BGH Dental
At BGH Dental, we treat patients of all ages to create generations of healthy teeth and gums. With a focus on prevention, we work to keep your loved ones’ smiles healthy. We offer the cleanings and checkups that are necessary to protect their oral health. If your child needs a preventive appointment, contact our office today.