When your child is young, you are in a unique position to help your child develop healthy eating habits that will ensure they have strong dental health for the rest of their lives.
Foster a Love of Water
The best thing for your child to drink, from a dental health standpoint, is water. Serve your child a cup of water with every meal that you eat at home. When your child is thirsty, have them drink a glass of water before anything else. Get your child their own water bottle to encourage more water drinking.
Teach your child how to mix up their water consumption by adding fruit to their water. This is a great way to add a little flavor to your child's water without adding a bunch of sugar.
Give Your Child a Glass of Milk
Milk is another drink that is good for your child to drink. Milk of all kinds contains important nutrients that will help keep your child's teeth and gum healthy. Provide a glass or two of milk to your child each day. Water or milk are the two best drink choices for your child's dental health.
Keep Sugary Drinks Out of Your House
Do not keep sugary or super sweet drinks in your house, including fruit juices and sodas. Fruit juices are actually not that healthy and often contain added sugar. The best way to get the nutrients from fruit is by consuming the actual fruit.
If your child never develops a taste for sweet drinks, it will be easier for your child to abstain from sugary drinks that threaten their dental health and are not good for their overall health, as well.
Encourage Crunchy Foods for Snacks
When your child wants a snack, hand them food that will help their teeth. Some of the best snacks for your child's teeth are naturally crunchy snacks, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, and apples.
All four of the fruits and vegetables listed above require a lot of chewing, which produces saliva in the mouth. Saliva can help neutralize bacteria inside of your child's mouth that can contribute to cavities. The abrasive nature of these fruits and vegetables also helps remove plaque from your child's teeth.
Providing crunchy, natural snacks for your child will help your child develop healthy eating habits and will also help keep your child's teeth clean throughout the day.
Encourage your child to drink water and milk and to stay away from sugary drinks that are not that hydrating or healthy for their teeth. Provide your child with healthy, crunchy snacks that will protect their dental health.
If you have any questions about your child's dental health, talk to your family dentist.