If you want to start your little ones off on the right foot for the New Year, there’s no better idea than to help them enjoy the best oral health possible over the next 12 months. In addition to brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis, what a child eats is one of the most important factors in their oral health. While it may seem like a challenge to get your kids to eat tooth-healthy snacks, it’s really not that difficult at all since there is a variety of snack options that not only taste good but are good for them as well. Here are a few tooth-healthy snack ideas for your little ones:
- Apples – Most kids love apples. This sweet, crunchy fruit provides a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But apples provide more than that. The sweetness of an apple stimulates the production of saliva inside your child’s mouth, which helps to wash away leftover food particles. And the crunchiness of this delicious fruit acts as a natural toothbrush to keep teeth clean.
- Dairy products – If your kids are craving a snack, steer them in the direction of dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Most kids love dairy, and these products provide an ample amount of calcium, which is important to keep teeth and bones strong and healthy. An added benefit from dairy products is that they neutralize the acid in your child’s mouth, and that can help fight cavities.
- Eggs – If your little ones get hungry in between meals, keep some hard-boiled eggs on hand. This source of lean protein also provides calcium and vitamin D – which is a “must-have” in order for your kids to adequately absorb calcium.
- Nuts – Most kids love nuts. And, as it turns out, this is also an excellent tooth-healthy snack for your little ones. Packed with heavy doses of both calcium and phosphorus, nuts like peanuts, almonds and cashews help to strengthen tooth enamel.
- Fluoridated water – An occasional soda is okay, but try not to let your kids drinks sugary sodas on a regular basis. Not only does the sugar promote tooth decay, but the acid in soda erodes tooth enamel. The same holds true for some citrus juices; orange and grapefruit in particular. So keep sodas and juices to a minimum and instead encourage your kids to drink water that contains tooth-healthy fluoride. Depending you where you live, your tap water might contain fluoride, but remember that not all bottled water does, so you’ll need to check the label.
Encouraging your kids to eat snacks that promote good oral health isn’t really that hard. But you’ll need to do your part by making sure these good-for-you alternatives are handy for your little ones at snack time. What a delicious way to start out the New Year!