Eating for Dental Health
What toddlers eat can directly affect the health of their teeth, now and in the future. Eating a balanced diet is always a good idea, especially if it contains plenty of milk and milk products. These foods are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which aid in the formation of strong teeth.
Most fruit juices contain high levels of vitamin C and high volumes of sugar. Water is a good alternative. If your toddler does drink juice, you may want to limit it to mealtimes only or dilute it with water. Teach him to rinse his mouth with water after eating to remove acidic plaque.7
Fluoride is another important component of your toddler’s diet, thanks to its ability to strengthen tooth structure. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many water sources and is considered safe when used at the proper levels.8
Those are the big must-dos. Here are some other quick tips to help keep your toddler’s teeth on a healthy track:9
Limit your child's snacking throughout the day.
Serve healthy drinks. Fluoridated water is a great choice. Soda, sports drinks, sweetened iced tea, lemonade and flavored milk have a lot of sugar and should be limited.
Offer healthy snacks. Encourage your child to eat nutritious foods and stay away from carbohydrates such as candy, chips and pretzels that stay on the teeth.
Avoid sticky foods. Beware of fruit roll-ups, gum, caramel and other foods that can linger on the tooth surface.