Picking kid-friendly and tooth-friendly foods doesn’t have to be a battle.
It can be hard to get your kids to eat healthily—especially the ones who are picky eaters. But it doesn’t have to be a challenge to find kid-friendly and tooth-friendly foods that kids will love and want to devour over and over again!
What to look for in tooth-friendly foods.
There are two things to look for in tooth friendly foods: foods that give the most nutrients to teeth, and the ones that help clean teeth.
Which foods are the ones that help clean your teeth? Believe it or not, crunchy fruits and vegetables, like celery and apples, work as nature’s toothbrushes. These fibrous foods act as bristles and help clean away bacteria and plaque that are on the surface of your teeth. While these foods can help combat plaque and bacteria buildup, they do not serve as a substitute for brushing your teeth!
When it comes to foods that help keep your teeth (and rest of your body!) healthy, you should look for foods rich in these vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin D.
Calcium is one of the most important minerals you can consume because it helps make your bones and teeth strong. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheese. Milk and yogurt are especially recommended because the calcium in them is easy for your body to absorb. Calcium can also be found in certain fish, like salmon and sardines. If your picky eaters aren’t fans of those foods, there are vegetables rich in calcium, like broccoli, kale, and many types of greens, including mustard greens and turnip greens. There are also nuts rich in calcium, so grab some almonds to get a boost of calcium.
Vitamin A–rich foods have a lot of orange in them, so look for orange carrots, sweet potatoes, orange bell peppers, and even fish to get your Vitamin A fix. Why is Vitamin A important for healthy teeth? Vitamin A helps with saliva production, and saliva helps to break down bacteria in the mouth. Another reason Vitamin A is recommended is because it helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
What do citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, kale, and berries have in common? They are all high in Vitamin C! Vitamin C is beneficial for good gum health and keeps the tissues and blood vessels in the gums strong, which in turn, helps hold your teeth in place. A deficiency of Vitamin C could lead to gum disease.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that should be on your radar for healthy teeth. Vitamin D is found in oily fish, like salmon and herring. Because Vitamin D is so beneficial to your health, it is often added to other foods, like milk and breakfast cereals, to give people a boost. Why is Vitamin D an important part of a healthy mouth? Vitamin D helps build up the minerals in your teeth and bones, so a deficiency of this vitamin could lead to gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease.
The final nutrient you should be focused on for healthy eating is phosphorus. This mineral helps the body absorb calcium, which is what helps build strong bones and teeth. Foods that are rich in phosphorus are meat, eggs, milk, fish, and whole grains.
If you or your child aren’t getting enough of these important vitamins and minerals, supplements are available, but remember to talk to a medical professional before starting any new supplements!
Make eating fun.
Now that you know what type of foods to look for to help boost the health of your teeth, how do you get your kids to eat them?
Let kids cook.
One way to get kids to eat healthily is to have them involved in the preparation of meals. Young children can help measure out ingredients needed for a recipe by using measuring cups or a food scale. Older children can be taught how to use kitchen knives safely, and they can be in charge of cutting up vegetables, which younger children can then add to bowls, pots, and/or pans.
Let kids choose.
Another way to get kids involved is by choosing what foods they want to eat or try. Visit your local supermarket or farmers’ market and check out the variety. Maybe your child is drawn to red fruits and vegetables and wants a meal consisting of mostly red foods—together, you can discover what foods are red, and compose and cook a dish together.
Visit Tomasik Family Dental Biannually!
While eating healthy is important for a healthy lifestyle, it is also important that everyone visit Tomasik Family Dental twice a year for dental checkups. If you haven’t seen us in a while, give us a call to schedule your appointment today!