Never wear white after Labour Day. Never wash whites with dark clothes. Don’t wipe the carpet, you have to dab it clean.
Some best practices never change. But, as seen last year with Canada’s updated food guide, healthy eating isn’t one of them.
So, with new scientific consensus about what constitutes a healthy diet, we thought it was only natural that we should update our recommendations for what children should eat for a brilliant smile!
We’ll go through the best foods for your teeth, the foods to avoid, and how your family can have a holistic game plan to aid in your dental hygiene and overall health.
Best Foods for Your Teeth
Beans and Lentils
Beans – the magical fruit! Part of Canada’s new recommendation for healthy protein sources, beans and lentils are also astonishingly healthy for our smiles.
Great Northern, chickpeas, navy, pinto, and lentils are all fantastic sources of phosphorus, one of the building blocks for strong enamel.
I am sure you have heard it all before, but the cliché is there for a reason – eating your greens is important for your health!
Broccoli and leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, are vitamin and mineral-rich super-foods! Containing calcium, phosphates, and beta-carotene, foods falling into this category are not only important for a balanced diet but also your healthiest smile!
You might think we recommend dairy products for their source of calcium, but that is only the icing on top of the cake when it comes to yogurt.
Due to its natural probiotic bacteria, yogurt helps to replace and prevent the plaque and gingivitis causing germs that build upon our teeth’s surface throughout the day.
Apples and Crunchy Fruits
High in fibre and available in so many colours and flavours, apples are truly made for all. However, not many tote its benefits to a healthy smile.
Chewing apples (or any other crunchy fruits for this matter) actively scrape tooth surfaces and massages your gums. While this shouldn’t be considered a substitute for brushing, any added protection against cavities is fantastic in our books!
Nuts and Seeds
Perfect snacks on the go, calorie-dense nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, almonds, and cashews, are nature’s recipe for teeth repair.
Chalked-full of minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, nuts supply us with vital nutrients needed for enamel remineralization.
As an added benefit, nuts and seeds are also playing a larger part in Canada’s new recommendations for healthy eating.
Most of us understand that water is important for keeping our bodies hydrated and working optimally. However, H2O has quite a lot of benefits towards our oral health that usually gets taken for granted.
Firstly, when drinking water, we are completing a simple act, but a much-needed one – rinsing our mouths. This effect not only removes excess food debris from our teeth and gums, but it also helps to balance the pH of our saliva, reducing enamel damage.
Another benefit mentioned within Canada’s updated food guide, drinking water saves us from sipping at harmful beverages, such as juice and soda.
As well, practically all of the world’s water sources contain some form of ionic-fluoride compounds. This is especially helpful for our teeth as fluoridated water helps repair and preserve surface enamel on our teeth.
Foods to Avoid
While you don’t have to avoid acidic foods entirely, decreasing the frequency at which you can eat them can save your enamel a lot of time in repair.
Understandably, the low pH of highly acidic foods, such as citrus, are hard on the surface of our teeth. It is recommended to give our teeth time to remineralize, so don’t brush too soon after eating tomato sauce, orange juice, etc.
Highly troublesome during the holiday months, chewy and sugary treats are the bane of a healthy smile. This is due to their extremely sticky nature and adhesion within our mouths.
Embedding themselves deep within our molars and crevices between our teeth, sticky foods make a home in our mouths and teeth for far too long. This eventually leads to the degradation of your enamel and the development of dental caries.
It is suggested to try your best to limit gummy candies (even vitamins), caramel, taffy, raisins, and sticky hard candies to avoid complications. If you must crush your chewy craving, save your guilty pleasure until after a meal. The excess saliva production 20 minutes after eating will help to lower the stickiness of your treat.
White flour is used in an incredible variety of recipes. Useful for bread, pasta, pastries, and cereal, these simple carbohydrates can be found practically in every meal.
Don’t get us wrong – we love how useful flour is for countless kitchen applications, but the dental issues lie within how our bodies process the starchy product. Simple carbohydrates are great if your body needs sugar – stat! Easily broken down, the carbohydrates are split into either monosaccharide (one sugar) or disaccharides (two sugars). However, as we already know, sugars aren’t great for our teeth and are one of the main causes of tooth decay. Avoid overly starchy foods whenever possible and replace white flour-based
Children’s Holistic Dental Health
Being healthy doesn’t stop at your diet. Plenty of habits, such a reading food labels, eating a variety of different vegetables and fruits, exercising, and eating as a family are important for both mental and physical well-being.
Pairing these habits with twice-daily brushing and flossing can not only aid in the reduction of gingivitis, periodontitis, and oral thrush, they also help diminish risk factors associated with heart disease.
For the parents out there, we wanted to compile some quick tips that will have you and your family making healthier choices with ease.
- Grab a variety of healthy snacks for your child to choose from! (Yogurt, fruit cups, nuts, etc.)
- Balance all food groups at mealtime to provide an array of vitamins and minerals.
- Include your children in food preparation that is appropriate for their age.
- Don’t use dessert as a bribe (unless it’s healthy!)
- Replace sugary drinks with water when possible.
- Read nutrition labels with your children and show them what ingredients to look out for.
Regular Visits to Your Dentist
The last piece of comprehensive health advice we can give is to schedule your child for regular visits with their Treehouse dental Specialist. Important to establish early on in life, routine dental cleanings reduce the chance of gum disease, gum recession, dental caries, and risk of cardiac disease.
As well, introducing your little ones to a dentist with frequency will help establish comfortability within their visits, minimizing the likelihood of dental phobias.
If it has been a while since your child has seen a dentist, whether for regular cleanings or a thorough checkup, don’t wait any longer to book. Call Treehouse today to discuss your child’s next visit to the dentist.
And don’t forget to keep smiling!