Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.
Don’t forget that water is a very important dietary ingredient. Review your water supply with the dentist to determine if it is fluoridated. If you use bottled water for your child, make sure it is fluoridated. If you need to discuss this issue, please let us know. Water should not be replaced by soda or juice in the diet. Soda should be eliminated if possible. Limit your child’s consumption of juice to 4-6 ounces a day. Juice should be diluted with water for younger children to limit the amount of sugar intake. It is best to have children drink the juice at a sitting instead of consuming it freely throughout the day.