Our job as parents is to make sure that our children grow up to be healthy, smart and strong. Teaching them how to properly take care of themselves will provide them with a strong foundation that will last a lifetime. When it comes to nutrition and oral health, it’s important that your child is getting the right nutrients. Not only will this allow them to fight off illness and stay healthy, but a healthy diet can also ward off tooth decay. As much as 90 percent of adults and 40 percent of children experience tooth decay to some degree.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing each day, brushing the proper way and increase the vitamins and minerals in each day’s dietary choices can go a long way. It’s also important to visit a dentist or orthodontist regularly for check ups. Let’s take a close look at the different vitamins and minerals that your child (and you) should be getting each day.
Teeth can remain strong and free of decay when there is enough calcium in the diet. When you don’t get enough calcium from things like milk, yogurt, cheese and green vegetables, your body can start stealing it from your bones or teeth. This is what leads to premature tooth decay.
Kids typically get enough vitamin D in the warmer weather months when they’re playing outside a lot. When the weather turns colder, vitamin D levels tend to drop. When we don’t have enough vitamin D, our body won’t process calcium properly. Up your intake of fortified orange juice and dairy products when you feel everyone could use a little boost of D.
When phosphorus is ingested into the body, it tends to go right to the teeth. This mineral assist with calcium absorption, it can repair tooth enamel that’s become damaged and it can prevent tooth decay. To increase the amount of phosphorus in your family’s diet, shop for healthy items such as nuts, seeds, eggs, red meat, soy products and lentils.
Your body will usually let you know it’s low in iron by feeling more tired than normal, but kids tend to hide these kinds of symptoms well. If your child doesn’t have enough iron in their system, their immune system may begin to suffer. This would result in a higher risk of gum disease or decaying teeth. You can find iron naturally in green leafy vegetables and red meat. It’s often added to things like bread and cereals.
B vitamins give us the energy we need to get through a day, but these vitamins can also treat mouth sores and bad breath. If you notice that your child’s breath is a little stinky despite their regular brushing, you may want to add some B vitamins to their diet to see if that helps.
Also good for the eyes, vitamin A can clean out bacteria from the mouth. Increasing your saliva production, vitamin A comes from foods like oranges, spinach, leafy lettuce, eggs, poultry, dairy and red meat.
There are blood vessels in the mouth that require vitamin C to function properly. You can also boost your immune system by consuming vitamin C. This would provide your teeth and gums with a bit of a boost when it comes to fighting off tooth decay. The majority of fresh fruits and vegetables come with an adequate supply of vitamin C.
Increase your potassium intake with prunes, bananas, avocados and lima beans. These may be a bit challenging to get your child to eat, but the nutritional makeup of these foods can promote healthy teeth density.
If you have questions about your child’s oral hygiene or health, feel free to contact Rick Herrmann Orthodontics for more information. We feel it’s necessary for a child to get on a good schedule of seeing one of our staff members regularly. This provides us with a baseline of their teeth and gums, so we can make sure they’re properly taking care of their teeth as they get older.