Growing bodies need good nutrition to stay healthy. Diet can also go a long way to maintaining oral health. You may know sugar is not the best for a little one’s diet, but did you also know fruit juice is actually worse for teeth? The acid in orange, apple, grape or other fruit juices can erode the enamel and create decay. It is especially worrisome if an infant is laid down with a bottle of juice or milk, since the acid just sits on the teeth all night.
To ensure your child has the best chances of healthy teeth, you may want to consider:
- Limiting fruit juice
- Reducing sugar
- Giving your child more vegetables and nonacidic fruit, such as watermelon, apricots, peaches and other alkaline foods
- Choosing nutritious snacks that are also good for the teeth, including cheese, which has protective enzymes; yogurt; raw vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli and peppers; and sugarless gum or candies
- Avoiding hard candy, such as jaw breakers and hard taffy, and limiting hard nuts if your child has a bridge or crown
- Reducing or eliminating soda
- Not allowing your child to lie down with a bottle of milk or fruit juice, either for a nap or at night, or allowing them to carry around a bottle filled with juice. The length of time a child has the bottle matters just as much as what is in it.
Taking these measures will help to substantially reduce or prevent cavities and other damage to your child’s teeth. To learn more, please call our pediatric dentists, Dr. Andrea Mason and Dr. Mark Van Duker, at 360-352-3515. At Olympia Pediatric Dentistry, we are dedicated to your child’s dental health and dietary needs in Olympia, Washington, and will do what we can to ensure they have a healthy smile for years to come!