It’s not always easy to get your child to eat healthy. Left on their own, most kids are going to pick sweets over fruits and vegetables. But it’s very important to develop good eating habits early to improve the overall health of your child. Here are a few foods you might want to consider giving to your child in order to avoid potential oral health problems.
What Causes Cavities in Young Children?
According to the Head Start National Center on Health, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in young children. It happens when bacteria inside the mouth use sugar to create acid. Overtime, the acid can break down the enamel of the tooth. Tooth decay can be very painful and even lead to problems with speech development and learning disabilities.
The Importance of Sugar Free Snacks
Sugary snacks and sticky foods are particularly harmful to a child’s oral health by increasing the chance of cavities. The following healthy snack foods are helpful in preventing tooth decay, and beneficial in a child’s overall development.
- Carrot Sticks
- Celery Sticks
While fruits are usually a good bet, you may want to stay away from fruits high in citric acid like grapefruits and lemons. Crunchy snacks low in added sugar are always a good idea, since these snacks are less likely to stick to the teeth, leading to cavities.
Building Strong Teeth
Vitamin D and calcium help build strong bones and teeth. These are found in milk, cheese and yogurt. If your child is lactose intolerant, you can always try almond milk. To cut down on sugar, buy unsweetened yogurt and add your own fruit in for taste.
While many parents might think that fruit juice is a healthy option, the high amount of sugar within these products can contribute to oral health problems. Water is always your best bet since it doesn’t have any sugar in it. In many places, drinking water often contains fluoride, an important element in oral health.