Most parents know just how important a balanced diet is to their child's health. From allowing them to maintain a great immune system to staying at a healthy weight, nearly all of the food that is ingested every single day will have a significant effect on the child's health. This includes the health of their teeth and gums, parts of the body that are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to the foods and drinks that a child ingests. Here is a look at some of the worst foods for a kid's dental health as well as the healthier options that they may have.
There are two manners in which the food that a child eats and the foods that they drink will affect the health of their teeth and gums. Initially, it will be a result of the food coming into directly contact with the outer enamel layers of the teeth and the soft tissue of the mouth. Many foods will leave behind a thin layer of debris in the mouth. These substances can become plaque, tartar, and calculus. The only effective way to clear away this debris is to brush and floss multiple times a day as well as schedule appointments with a dentist at least twice a year for a complete cleaning of the teeth.
When this debris is not completely cleaned from the mouth, it will produce acids and bacteria that will attack the enamel and lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Some of the worst offenders for these health issues are any foods that are rich in sugars and starches as well as those that have an easier time of permeating the small crevices in the mouth such as sodas.
What many may be surprised to hear is that different juices can also be very damaging to a child's teeth. Juices can be consumed in moderation as long as the proper oral hygiene habits are carried out, but they can have a twofold negative impact on the teeth. First, the sugar in a juice will interact with plaque to produce devastating acids. For juices that contain less sugar and higher amounts of acidity, there is also a risk of damaging the outer layers of the teeth. Carbohydrates also act in a similar manner and will begin to destroy the tooth enamel and produce cavities.
In order for a child to be as healthy as possible and enjoy a vibrant and straight smile, they should have a well-balanced diet beginning with adequate amounts of water and neutrally acidic drinks. Calcium and protein will also allow the body to maintain strong enamel and pulp, allowing the child to maintain their great smile for years on end.
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