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The Best and Worst Foods For Your Child's Dental Health

Following a nutritious diet promotes healthy and strong teeth in children. Protect their oral health by following these easy and simple tips.

One of the best things a parent can do for their children, outside of scheduling regular visits to the family dentist and promoting proper oral hygiene habits, is teaching them to make the right nutritional choices.

Benefits of sticking to a balanced and healthy diet: 

  • Lower risk of developing cavities
  • Reduced chance of developing periodontal disease
  • Stronger teeth enamel
  • Lower risk of tooth decay and tooth loss

Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Calgary

At Marlborough Dental Centre, our team of qualified and experienced family dentists can provide a wide range of pediatric dental care including teeth extractions, Invisalign and cleanings to promote strong and healthy teeth in your children.


Top 4 Foods to Promote Dental Health In Your Child

In addition to brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once daily, children should also consume a well-balanced and nutritional diet to promote overall health and build a strong, healthy smile.

Here are some foods to help keep your child’s teeth healthier and stronger:


1. Lean Meats, Nuts & Proteins

Many family dentists recommend adding lean meats such as turkey, chicken and white fish to your child’s diet. In addition, nuts are a great healthy snack and a quick source of energy. These sources of protein are healthy and help strengthen tooth enamel.


2. Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a great snack alternative to foods rich in carbohydrates. To promote dental hygiene and help clean your child’s teeth, add fruits and vegetables with a high water content to their diet.:

  • Melons
  • Pears
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery


3. Cheese and Low-Fat Dairy Products

Aged cheeses like cheddar, swiss and monterey jack help generate the flow of saliva, which aids in removing food particles from the teeth. Add these to your child’s snack or lunch. In addition, low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and yogurt also promote oral health.


4. Water Instead of Sugary Juices & Soda

Many pediatric and family dentists insist that parents should limit the amount of sugary drinks a child consumes. Sodas, juices and even milk contain large amounts of sugar that can cause dental decay.

Instead, get your child into the habit of primarily drinking water as this helps protect teeth against harmful bacteria and sugar that stick to enamel.

Tip: NEVER put a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.


3 Foods to Limit In Your Child’s Diet

Just like certain foods can promote healthy teeth in your child, limiting or avoiding other types can lessen their risk of dental cavities and oral decay.

Here is a list of 3 foods you should avoid or limit in your child’s diet:

1. Sticky, Chewy Foods

Sugary foods linger on the teeth and in large amounts, or without proper teeth brushing, these can cause cavities and lead to serious tooth decay. Some of the items you should avoid include:

  • Gummy worms
  • Caramel
  • Lollipops
  • Hard candies
  • Granola bars
  • Peanut butter

Tip: If you are going to give your child sweets, its better to do so directly after a meal rather than as a snack. This is because after eating, there is a larger amount of saliva in the mouth, making it easier to clean away sugar particles left on the teeth.


2. Desserts

Try to limit the amount of desserts your child consumes. Ice cream, cookies and other treats are fine when given in moderation, but it’s best to make sure your child brushes their teeth directly after.


3. Starchy Foods

Starchy foods can easily become lodged between teeth and while they may not necessarily taste sweet, starches can begin converting to sugar almost immediately, increasing your child’s risk of developing tooth decay.

Some starchy foods to avoid:

  • White bread
  • Potato chips
  • French fries
  • Al-dente pasta


Call Today

To find out more about our pediatric dental services including teeth cleanings and dental exams, contact our Calgary family dentists at (403) 248-2066 or fill in our online contact form.

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