Most parents know that it's a good idea to avoid sugary treats and drinks to help keep their children's teeth and gums healthy. However, did you know that there are foods that are actually beneficial to your child's teeth and that help to promote good dental health? In addition to promoting overall good health, something that helps teeth and gums stay healthy, these foods can actually stave off gum disease and tooth decay.
Foods to serve your child for good dental health
1. Raw celery. Celery isn't just a healthy and fun snack, but crunching on this vegetable helps the body produce saliva, which keeps bacteria from forming on the teeth and causing decay. The abrasive nature of celery also helps to keep food particles from adhering to teeth. Apples and carrots are also helpful for the same reasons.
2. Raisins. Raisins are another healthy snack that help promote good dental health. This food contains oleanolic acid, which helps to inhibit oral bacteria.
3. Cheese. You might not think of cheese as a food that's good for dental health, but a recent study showed that it helps to neutralize the acid in your child's mouth even better than sugar-free yogurt or a glass of milk. Acid is one of the things that can cause tooth enamel to break down.
4. Cranberries. Green tea is good for your teeth because of the polyphenols it contains. However, most parents don't want to give their children tea, even green tea. Fortunately, this same substance can be found in cranberries.
5. Foods with folic acid. Foods that are rich in folic acid, such as kale, broccoli and asparagus, are also good for promoting dental health. If your kids scoff at the idea of green, leafy vegetables, consider blending them with a little yogurt into a fun smoothie or mixing them into your spaghetti sauce or salsa.
6. Raw onion. Raw onions have been shown to have anti-bacterial properties. While chomping down on an onion bulb may not be attractive to your kids, you can make onions fun by serving green onions with salsa or dip and by adding diced raw onions to sandwiches, salads and pastas.
While there's no way to completely avoid tooth decay, substituting a few beneficial foods, such as cranberries and celery, for more common sugary treats can go a long way towards starting your children out on the path of good dental health. Plus your next trip to the pediatric dentist will be a breeze.