Your child’s diet plays a vital role in not only their oral health but their overall health, too. A report published by News Medical indicates that poor dental health may impact the development and growth of children in several ways. “With respect to physical health, proper breathing, speaking, smiling, and adapting to social situations, poor dental health may cause pain and discomfort, embarrassment, lower self-esteem, and inability to perform activities of daily life. Children with bad teeth may not grow properly, be underweight, show irritability, be more prone to illness, have higher rates of hospital admission, and complain of sleep disruption.”
For our children to grow and thrive, instilling good oral care and ensuring they have a healthy diet is essential.
What Food & Drink Help My Toddler's Teeth
When it comes to food and drinks that support your toddler’s oral health there are many healthy options to choose from.
Vitamin C helps to kill bacteria in the mouth and also promotes a healthy supply of collagen to the gums. Look to incorporate oranges, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes to ensure they gain plenty of Vitamin C in their diet.
Calcium intake is important to help build strong teeth, so ensure your child’s diet contains calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, and yogurts.
Fluoridated water for toddlers is really important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends water fluoridation as a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay with data showing that community water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 25%. Public water supplies contain Fluoride, but you can always check with your provider to be sure. Fluoride protects teeth from decay, and this is important for toddlers.
The oils found in nuts and seeds help to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to cavities. Look to include sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews into their daily diet, provided they do not have a nut allergy and are supervised at all times to prevent and potential choking hazards.
What Food & Drink Are Bad For My Toddler's Teeth
Sugary foods and drinks are bad for toddlers’ teeth, so limiting junk food is key. Avoid sweet drinks including fruit juice and never add sugar, syrup, or anything sweet to your toddler’s foods. Sugar is also known as sucrose, glucose, fructose, and maltose so always check the labels of food to ensure there are no hidden sugars contained. Sticky foods that can lodge between toddlers’ teeth should also be avoided. A high sugar intake can result in cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to short and long-term oral health issues for your child, so sugar should be avoided at all times.
If you are concerned about your toddler’s diet, you can always consult your dentist to make sure they are eating foods that will support their oral health.
Are There Supplements That Can Help My Child's Teeth?
While there are supplements available to support children’s oral health, as dentists we suggest that you focus on a balanced diet and a good oral care routine to ensure your child’s oral health is maintained.
Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium can all be integrated into a child's diet through the right foods and drinks. This is the best way for a child to metabolise these essential vitamins, rather than relying on supplements.
Maintaining a regular oral care routine with clean, active ingredients is the best way to help your child’s teeth. A regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-up routine should be prioritised, rather than using supplements to support their oral health.