February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The National Children’s Dental Health Month is a…
It might seem like everywhere you look there are unhealthy foods beckoning your children to eat them, but there are ways to keep them on a healthy diet. Whether you are dealing with a toddler just experimenting with foods or a teenager that knows what he does and doesn’t like, it is never too late to teach your kids the importance of proper nutrition and how it affects their teeth. When you empower your children with information, they will learn to take care of their oral health now and well into their adulthood.
Moderation is the Key
The most important fact to stress to your children is that moderation is the key to good oral health. Just because cavities are a risk of consuming sugar does not mean that your child can never have sweet treats. It simply means that he should consume them in moderation and should always brush and floss shortly after consuming the sweet treat. When desserts and sugary snacks are kept as a special treat, they are enjoyed more and cause less havoc on your child’s oral health.
Education is Important
You cannot talk to your kids too often about the importance of good nutrition. When you provide the proper foundation for making good decisions, they will grow up knowing right from wrong when it comes to taking care of their oral health. The benefit to your child knowing which foods are good for them and which are not is that they get to make their own decisions, rather than forcing you to say no all of the time. Help your child focus on the whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Explain what happens to their teeth when they eat not only candy, cookies, and cake but also crackers, chips, and any other refined carbohydrates. When they understand the risk that their teeth take with every bad snack, they will be less likely to choose the unhealthy foods and more likely to make the healthy choices.
Keep the Snacks Away
If you do not keep unhealthy snacks in the house, your children will not have anything to beg for that could ruin their oral health. Give them plenty of healthy options for them to consume and they will soon get used to the idea of having fruits or veggies in place of refined carbohydrates like crackers and cookies. Make snack time fun with fruits and veggies with dip, whole milk string cheese, and their favorite flavored yogurt.
Keeping your kids on the track to good oral health starts with their diet – get your children started today!