Dietary habits are an important part of our health as they impact every aspect of how our body functions. Our oral health is one key area where our dietary choices can make a major difference. Establishing healthy food choices early in life can help ensure we experience limited oral health concerns as we age. The first step to establishing a healthy diet starts with building good habits in our childhood. As a parent, the responsibility falls on you to not only set your child’s oral health habits but to ensure their diet supports overall dental health as they grow. To guide you toward this goal, Kids 360 Pediatric Dentistry has outlined how oral health impacts pediatric oral health.
How What They Eat Can Impact Our Children’s Oral Health
Within our oral cavity lives and thrives a type of bacteria known as streptococcus mutans. This bacteria builds up plaque, lays the foundation for tartar, and attacks our dental and gingival health if allowed to thrive. We help these bacteria damage our teeth by making poor dietary choices. Foods and beverages high in sugar and acid pose a significant risk to oral health due to two factors. The first is that acids soften our enamel, making it more vulnerable to erosion and decay. In addition, the sugars in these choices provide streptococcus mutans with the food it needs to multiply rapidly. As this bacteria grows and thrives, there are numerous potential risks to the health of our smile.
Some problems caused by this bacteria include:
- Tooth Decay
- Gum Disease
- Enamel Erosion
- Tooth Discoloration
Thankfully, simple dietary changes can help limit our children’s risk of developing these and other oral health conditions. Some simple ones include not giving your child juice or a bottle at bedtime and ensuring their teeth are brushed at least twice daily. Some additional tips for helping protect your child’s teeth through dietary changes include:
- Limit Sugary Drinks
- Choose Healthy Snacks
- Avoid Processed Foods
- Know What’s In Your Food
- Encourage Staying Hydrated
- Plan Balanced Meals
- Consume Smaller Portions
These changes represent important first steps toward protecting your child’s oral health from the ravages of tooth decay and gum disease. Experiencing oral health issues early in life can establish a tendency for them later. Further, protecting the health of our baby or primary teeth is important to ensure that adult teeth have the best chance of growing straight and healthy.
Contact Kids 360 Pediatric For More Oral Health Tips
The best time to start protecting your children’s oral health is now. If you’re looking for a new family doctor or want to learn more about protecting your child’s smile as they age, contact us today. You can start with a call at (832) 271-6114 or stop by our clinic in Richmond, TX. Our team will help you schedule an appointment and answer any questions you may have about protecting your child’s oral health. Don’t wait until they’re an adult to start making healthy dietary choices for your children!