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Nutrition and Your Child's Teeth: Top Food Picks

Child Teeth
You make sure that your child visits the pediatric dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. You insist that they brush their teeth for the requisite two minutes two times a day. And you instruct them to stay away from sugary treats and drinks that can cause decay.
Along with all of these dental must-dos, a nutritious diet is also part of a healthy mouth routine. This doesn't just mean banning candy or striking soft drinks from your shopping list. It's not always what your child doesn't eat that contributes to their healthy teeth. Paying attention to what your child does eat and drink can have a dramatic impact on your child's teeth.
What foods have dental benefits? Take a look at the nutrients and foods that can help your little one to build healthy teeth right now and for a lifetime.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods
Vitamin C is a nutrient that you know well. Oranges are rich in vitamin C and it's well-known for keeping the body healthy. You may have even grown up hearing that this vitamin can ward off a cold or help you heal after an illness. While vitamin C won't keep you completely safe from catching a nasty winter cold, it can help to protect your child against the bacteria that cause gum disease.
So which foods are high in vitamin C? Along with oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and broccoli also contain plenty of the vitamin.
High-Calcium Choices
Calcium helps to build healthy bones. Likewise, it helps to strengthen your child's teeth. Dairy is a top calcium source. These foods include milk, yogurt, and cheese. If your child isn't into dairy, or has a sensitivity to it, plenty of other calcium-rich options exist.
Good sources of calcium include collard greens, kale, broccoli, oranges, and some types of seafood. Another option is to choose a fortified food. Some brands of almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, tofu, oatmeal, and cereal add extra calcium to their products.
Keep in mind, some calcium-rich foods are also high in sugar. Avoid choices such as chocolate or flavored milk, regular yogurt (reduced or no-sugar yogurt is acceptable), or sugary fortified cereals.
Foods With Phosphorus
Calcium-rich foods aren't the only options to build strong bones and teeth. Keep in mind, your child's body needs calcium. But there are other choices, such as phosphorus, that can also help to strengthen your child's teeth.
Which foods contain phosphorus? Some examples include potatoes, wheat bran, quinoa, oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, broccoli, and meats such as turkey, chicken, and ground beef.
Foods With Folic Acid
When taken during pregnancy, folic acid can help to reduce the risk of a baby developing a neural tube defect. These are serious issues that affect the baby's spine and brain development.
Along with the pregnancy benefits of folic acid come the dental ones. Folic acid can help your child's gum tissue to stay healthy. Eating folic acid-rich foods doesn't negate the need for proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing. But it can help to reduce the risk of gum disease.
Foods that are rich in folic acid include leafy greens (such as spinach), beans, cereals, citrus fruits, rice, and pasta. Again, some foods are fortified. Look at the packaging to see if the food has been fortified with folic acid. Commonly fortified foods include cereals and pastas.
Eating healthy is essential to your child's oral health. Keeping your little one's teeth and gums in top shape also takes a professional's help. Call Bay Pediatric Dentistry for preventative and other dental services for children of all ages.