While Halloween may be more widely known for spooky costumes and trick-or-treating, we at Metro Square Dental Associates also have something else come to mind: cavities. When your child eats those sugary sweets, the thousands of bacteria hidden in the plaque on their teeth have a feeding frenzy. They metabolize the sugars and eventually release acids directly onto their dental enamel, causing tooth decay and cavities. That said, we know that eating candy over this holiday can be half the fun! Luckily, there are a few foods your child can eat to help strengthen their teeth in preparation for Halloween. In addition to having them keep up a solid dental hygiene routine, be sure to let them snack on these foods and beverages in the coming weeks.
1. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
It comes as no surprise that fruits and vegetables are great for your child’s overall health. However, did you know that they can be specifically good for your child’s teeth? If you’re worried about the excess of candy your child is eating, just make sure to add fibrous fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, carrots, and broccoli to their lunch box. These foods naturally scrub your child’s dental enamel and rub away plaque from the surface of their teeth. Plus, they also are high in water content, which boosts their saliva production and helps to keep harmful bacteria away from their teeth.
2. Dairy Products
Calcium is good for the bones, and your teeth are no exception! That’s why it’s recommended that you give your children dairy products like (sugar-free) yogurt, cheese, and milk help to strengthen their dental enamel. Also, there is a protein in cheese called casein which can help remineralize dental enamel, which makes your child’s teeth strong against cavities. As an added bonus, cheese is said to raise the pH levels of your mouth. Not only does this neutralize the acids released by plaque after your child’s candy binge, but it also increases your child’s saliva levels to help wash away the plaque and food debris.
3. Leafy Greens
Another way to strengthen your child’s dental enamel and ward off tooth decay is by feeding them lots of leafy greens. Spinach and kale, for example, are high in calcium. They’re also rich in antioxidants, iron, and beta-carotene. This helps to strengthen their teeth against the corrosive acids released on your child’s dental enamel when your child eats candy and other sugary foods.
4. Citrus Fruits
There are a number of ways that citrus fruits can help to combat the damage done by sugary snacks. First, they’re packed with vitamin C, which helps to fight inflammation and bleeding of the gums. They can also help your child to fight tooth decay by neutralizing the acids in their mouth. That said, it is important to note that citrus fruits should be eaten in moderation, as too much can have an adverse effect and the acids in the fruit can damage their dental enamel.
Above all, its important that your child avoids the sodas and other sugary drinks and, instead, drinks plenty of water. Not only does this keep your child in good overall health, but it also helps to wash away the acids that could damage their teeth.
Want to have your child’s teeth checked for cavities? Call Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to schedule their next appointment!