What kids put into their bodies can certainly affect how they feel, how healthy they are, and how they develop and grow. But eating the right foods can not only fuel your child’s body, but it can also enhance their oral health. During this National Nutrition Month, your pediatric dentist in Medford wants to help all of our patient’s parents and caregivers know just how important proper nutrition is to kids’ oral health.
What is Proper Nutrition?
The basics of eating right include reducing fat and sugar intake while increasing the amount of nutrient-rich foods. But how much of what types of food should your child be eating? That’s where things aren’t so simple. Ever since the original Food Pyramid Guide was published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992, nutritional recommendations have shifted. The current standards are reflected in MyPlate and vary depending on age, gender, height, weight, and daily activity level. However, most of the common rules of thumb remain the same including focusing on eating plenty of:
How Are Nutrition and Oral Health Related?
The body’s response to eating “bad” foods and drinks increases the likelihood of someone experiencing oral health issues and diseases. Let’s look at foods that are high in sugar, for example. Sweets and beverages like soda and juices that are packed with sugar can easily attack tooth enamel. If the sugar is not rinsed away or left exposed to the teeth for long periods of time, it will erode the outer protective tooth layer called the enamel. Without this barrier, teeth are more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. Although almost every food contains some amount of sugar, even the good foods we’re supposed to eat, try your best to stay away from items that have added sugars and remember to read nutritional labels.
Beware of Hidden Sugars
The sugar content in the sweeter- tasting foods that you choose for you and your family isn’t the only thing your pediatric dentist in Medford is wary of. There are hidden sugars everywhere, even in things that don’t taste sweet. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates can actually raise blood glucose levels and affect the body the very same way actual sugar does. Since these carbs end up breaking down into simple sugars, they put teeth at the same risk for decay as eating a sweet treat.
Eat Well, Protect Smiles
The main goal for your pediatric dentist in Medford is to keep patients healthy by being a key member of their healthcare team. Encouraging a healthy, well-balanced diet is a great way to ensure not only a healthy body but also a healthy mouth.