26224 North Tatum Blvd. Suite 12  | Phoenix, AZ 85050

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and Your Child’s Oral Health

Did you know that what children eat not only affects their growth and overall health but also impacts their smiles? At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we encourage our young patients to be mindful about what they put in their mouths. We are happy to offer nutritional counseling and guidance to set the stage for strong and healthy smiles. 

How Does Nutrition Impact Your Child’s Oral Health?

Just as proper nutrition supports a child’s growth and development, it can impact their oral health. Essential nutrients help build strong teeth and bones and keep those pearly whites healthy and disease-free. Maintaining a balanced diet lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. 

What Are Food Choices to Limit?

Here’s a look at some of the food choices that may not be the healthiest for your child’s smile:

Sugary Foods and Beverages: Sugary treats offer an abundant food source for cavity-causing bacteria. As they feast, the bacteria produce acids, which will eat away at your little one’s tooth enamel, leading to decay and cavities. Interestingly, candy bars and cupcakes aren’t the only culprits. Even fruit juices and cough drops can contain large amounts of sugar, which can be detrimental to your child’s smile. 

Acidic Foods and Drinks: Acidic foods and beverages, such as some fruit juices, carbonated drinks, citrus, and pickles, can be harmful to your child’s teeth because they can erode tooth enamel, leading to decay and cavities. Weakened enamel can also lead to oral health problems, including tooth sensitivity and discoloration. 

Starchy or Sticky Foods: Sticky foods or candies tend to linger in every pit or crevice on or between your child’s teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay. Starchy foods such as potatoes and white bread can also be problematic because they break down into sugars, creating a sticky, sugary feast for harmful oral bacteria. 

Dried Fruit: Snacks like dried fruit and fruit snacks, often mistaken for healthy options due to their fruit content, are actually some of the worst choices for your child’s oral health. Their sticky, chewy texture and excessive sugar and acid content can put your little one’s smile at risk. 

Hard food or Candies: Did you know that hard candy is one of the worst foods for your little one’s oral health? Biting down on hard candies or foods can chip or even crack your child’s teeth, leading to a dental emergency. They can also get stuck in the grooves of the teeth, increasing the risk of decay. 

What Are Healthy Food Choices?

The best diet for your little one’s smile is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, protein, and plenty of water. Here’s a look at some of the examples of smile-healthy treats: 

Fruits and Vegetables: Crunchy, raw fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery, and carrots, act like nature’s toothbrushes, removing plaque, bacteria, and debris from the surfaces of the teeth. Melons and cucumbers, on the other hand, have a high water content, which helps flush away bacteria, promoting your child’s oral health.  

Protein: Lean meats, such as white fish, turkey, and chicken, are good protein sources for your little one, strengthening tooth enamel. Nuts and beans also provide protein, contributing to your child’s oral health. 

Calcium-Rich Foods: Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, which is important for strong teeth and bones. They are also rich in protein, promoting your child’s dental health. 

Eggs: Eggs are packed with essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Calcium helps build strong teeth and bones, while phosphorus can help strengthen your child’s tooth enamel.  

Water: Encourage your little one to drink plenty of water, which helps flush away bacteria, plaque, and food debris, keeping your child’s smile healthy and strong. Water helps keep the mouth hydrated, combats dry mouth, freshens breath, and keeps those little smiles looking beautiful. 

Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles

Even with the healthiest food choices, it’s important to establish good oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing and flossing. Make sure to visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for your child’s twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings. Our dedicated team will monitor your little one’s smile and ensure it stays in tip-top shape. 

Preventive Dental Care Near Me in Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Patel and our kid-friendly team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry are dedicated to setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. We are happy to offer tips and guidance to lower the risk of dental disease. You can always count on our team for exceptional, compassionate care. We invite you to call 480-284-5076 to schedule your appointment today.

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