Going Beyond The Family Dentist: Dental Care And Food Choice For Your Child

You make sure that your child visits the family dentist regularly. This means that you see the dental pro every six months, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. But, that's not the only step to keeping your kiddo's mouth healthy. What else can you do to help your child's smile stay strong? Along with proper brushing, nutrition is a major part of dental health. Check out what your child needs (in terms of nutrition) to have healthy teeth.

Dairy Delights

Calcium is a must-have for healthy bones. This means that your child not only needs calcium to grow but for her teeth as well. Dairy foods are rich in calcium, making them essential for your child's teeth. These include milk, cheese and yogurt. Steer clear of high-fat or high-sugar dairy foods, such as milk shakes or ice cream. These are generally unhealthy and have added sugars that can lead to tooth decay. If your child just isn't into dairy, make these foods more fun to eat. Add cut fresh fruit to yogurt or blend fruit, yogurt, milk and ice to make a smoothie.

Leafy Greens

Like dairy, leafy greens are high in calcium. Spinach, kale and mustard greens are all calcium-rich foods to try. If you're short on time but still want to give your child a high-calcium meal, include raw greens. Mix a few different types into a salad (adding other veggies or even sliced fruit) or swap out iceberg lettuce for spinach (or other greens) in your child's sandwich. You can even use greens in a healthy turkey-tortilla wrap.

Meats and Poultry

Even though calcium is obviously important for your child's teeth, she also needs phosphorus (to rebuild and protect her teeth). You can find phosphorus in meats and poultry. Like you do with your dairy choices, avoid meats and poultry that are high in fat. This means choosing a lean homemade hamburger over the fast food version or going with grilled chicken instead of breaded and fried. Give your child a phosphorus and calcium double punch and make a meal such as baked chicken with a side of spinach or add greens to a burger.

High C Foods

Vitamin C helps in the healing process. This makes it important for healthy gums. Don't forget that your child's healthy smile includes her gums and not just her teeth. Many fruits and veggies include vitamin C, such as oranges, red peppers, broccoli, grapefruit and kale (among others).

Along with regular visits to the family dentist, help your child's mouth to stay healthy by choosing nutritious foods. Calcium-rich picks, phosphorus-containing ingredients and items that are high in vitamin C can all contribute to your little one's strong smile and healthy gumline.

For more information, contact All About Smiles or a similar location.