Healthy and Nutritious food recommendations for best oral health in children
Children are the future generation, and it’s the role of every parent to keep them hale and healthy. Oral health is a mirror that reflects our general physique. A healthy smile speaks a lot about the general well-being of a person. Diet and proper oral hygiene practices plays a major role in maintaining good oral health in every child.
The most common problems encountered in a child’s mouth is dental decay. Decay is directly related to high consumption of sugary foods, with improper brushing and poor hygiene measures. But children love eating sweets, chocolates, candies, fruit juices, drinks etc and it’s very difficult to limit their food intake. So how do we make sure children has both healthier options as well sugar free diet to take so as to prevent dental decay?
Get into the habit of reading the nutritional value labels in the ingredients of foods and beverages. This will help to choose options that are low in added sugars.
Milk irrespective of cow’s milk or formula milk is a good source of sugar as well. Very often children visit dentists with profound tooth decay as early as 2-3 yrs. This is usually related to nursing bottle habits. When kids sleep with milk in their mouth over the night, it’s a very good source for bacteria to flourish and develop decay. These children develop very fast progressing decay and may require comprehensive dental treatments at an early age. Hence make sure kids avoid this habit and ensure cleaning their mouth before sleeping.
School going children in turn are influenced by peer pressure, and tend to bring unhealthy food in their lunch boxes. Parents should ensure that healthy snacks and less sugary foods are provided to school kids. At nurseries and kinder-garden schools, more attention should be paid to the feeding habits of children and minimise the sugary foods consumption as much as possible.
Fruit juices do contain added sugars in it. Hence eating the fruit naturally is a healthier option in terms of consuming low sugar and more fibre content for children. Do not introduce juice to infants less than a year old.
Healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, vegetables and cheese can be chosen over the candies and pastries for snacks.
Do not give juices for toddlers in containers and just before they sleep. Water is the best beverage.
Make sure the child brushes his/her teeth before going to bed at night. Monitor and help in their brushing habits until they are goof enough to handle themselves.
Visit your dentist when your child is 6 months to one year of age. This will help the parents to get educated on maintaining good oral health of the children. Dental sealants can also be done as soon as the first permanent molars erupt inside the cavity as early as 6 years of the child.