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Can certain foods strengthen your child’s teeth?

Yes, consuming too much sugar can lead to cavities - but did you know that many other foods really help to strengthen children's teeth?

Healthy foods not only nourish your child’s growing body, but they can also clean their teeth! Let’s count down the top teeth-strengthening foods:

Vitamin C

There are several different types of bacteria in your child’s mouth, and some of them can develop gingivitis, which is the initial stage of gum disease. Vitamin C, found in fruits like oranges, limes, kiwis, cantaloupe, papaya, and strawberries, aids in the killing of harmful bacteria while also promoting a healthy supply of collagen in the gums. Other good sources of vegetables include red, yellow, and orange peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Good to know: Dentists advise children to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming citrus meals or drinks before brushing their teeth. This is because the fruit’s citric acid can temporarily weaken tooth enamel, leaving teeth prone to brushing-induced erosion.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains natural probiotic bacteria, which some studies show helps combat the germs that cause plaque buildup and gingivitis. Choose a low-sugar or no-sugar choice for your child’s breakfast.

Cheese and milk

Sugar is formed when starchy carbohydrates such as bread, white potatoes, and pasta are broken down. This sugar feeds other types of bacteria in your child’s mouth, which produce acid that causes cavities. When your child drinks milk or eats cheese, which are high in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate, it raises the pH level in their mouth, lowers acid levels, and reduces the chance of tooth decay. Calcium is also advantageous in a variety of other ways: it binds to plaque and adheres to teeth, further protecting them from leftover acid; it repairs damaged enamel; and it strengthens the bones surrounding your child’s teeth, making them more resistant to periodontal disease later in life.

Crisp green vegetables

Raw carrots, celery, cucumbers, cauliflower, green beans, and snap peas are examples of “chewing foods” that clean your child’s teeth and gums mechanically. These foods naturally scrape away plaque that accumulates between meals or that children miss when brushing. Encourage your child to chew each crunchy mouthful completely and slowly.

Seeds and nuts

Nuts and seeds have natural lipids that coat teeth and help protect them from bacteria. The oils in the seeds aid to build enamel, making teeth less susceptible to cavities. Sunflower seeds are also high in folic acid, a nutrient that helps to minimise gum inflammation.

Eggs

Eggs, particularly yolks, contain vitamin D, which aids the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphate (minerals required to create and protect tooth enamel).

Water

Water is sometimes disregarded, yet saliva, which is composed of 95% water, is a vital internal dental-health moderator. Serve H2O with meals to help rehydrate your youngster and wipe away remaining food particles.

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