As all parents should know, what your child eats has a huge impact on their oral health. Items with high sugar and fat content can be big negatives due to the way they promote plaque and bacteria in the mouth, while areas like fruits and vegetables should be promoted for both general and oral health reasons.
At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, we offer a wide range of preventive and other care services to keep your child’s mouth healthy, from basic cleanings to dental X-rays, restorative care and much more. When it comes to the promotion of fruit within your child’s diet, there are a few fruits that stand above the rest for their numerous oral benefits – plus one area you should be careful around. Let’s go over everything you need to know here.
Kiwi, which is a berry and not a citrus fruit like some people believe, is enormously beneficial to anyone’s oral health, particularly a developing mouth. Kiwis are known for their incredibly high fiber content, which strengthens both bones and teeth in the body, and they also have tons of calcium. Calcium is one of the top minerals out there for the development of teeth, helping stop harmful acids and strengthen the tooth enamel for protection as the teeth fill in.
Speaking of fiber, strawberries are also packed with it. They’re known to be excellent benefits to the teeth and gums for this reason, and also help the body produce collagen through vitamin C creation.
Collagen, for those who don’t know, is a natural protein that’s involved in strengthening and maintaining everything from the skin to the gums. Vitamin C is highly involved in producing and maintaining its levels, and just a half-cup of strawberries can get you most of your vitamin C requirement for a given day.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as the common phrase goes, but they may as well have said “dentist” instead. Apples once again are high in fiber, but are also known to assist with several basic tooth care areas – they help cleanse and clean the teeth every time they’re consumed, and can also prevent poor breath.
In addition, apples are high in acidity – this helps kill bacteria that might invade the teeth and eventually lead to cavities. Even apple skin is beneficial, as it’s the highest-fiber part of the apple and keeps gums clean.
One fruit area to be wary of when it comes to your child’s oral health is various citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges and others. These fruits are okay in small amounts, but too much of them can lead to tooth erosion and a process called “demineralization” that occurs when the citric acid present wears down the tooth enamel.
From here, the acid can get into sot tissue layers below the surface of the tooth, leading to sensitivity and pain issues. If your child does have citrus fruits regularly, be sure to have them rinse their mouth out for 30 seconds or brush their teeth after.
For more on fruits and how the promote oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.