As a just for kids dentist, we treat children of all ages and enjoy helping our young patients to have excellent oral health now and as they grow. We consider ourselves to be a critical component to their lifelong oral health. One way that we can help is by cleaning their teeth on an annual or biannual basis. We can also provide them with fluoride treatments to strengthen their teeth and dental sealant when necessary. During these regular appointments, we will also discuss things like healthy eating habits with your children and talk about foods that they need to avoid. It is our belief that even though children are young, they can still take some responsibility for their health. Our patients typically rise to the challenge.
Now that school is over, and your children are spending hours at home and the community pool, it is important to start a new routine that includes healthy eating and taking are of their teeth. The temptation for your kids to spend the day snacking or reaching for an ice cream bar are incredibly high so taking the time to set expectations now is important. Here are some healthy snacks that we suggest you try –
- Fruit. This is the season for delicious fruit and berries. As a just for kids dentist, we know that many of our young patients enjoy eating them as a snack year round, and now they are more available than ever. Things like watermelon and raspberries are an excellent snack. One word of caution, however, is that you need to avoid anything that is too acidic and if they do have acidic fruit, they need to rinse their mouth or brush their teeth afterwards since acid can erode their enamel and increase the risk for cavities developing.
- Dairy products. Calcium is good for their teeth and bones. Buy string cheese or single servings of cheese from the store, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, etc. and give it to them as a snack. Look for options that have no sugar added.
- Nuts. When you give your child a handful of nuts, you are giving them protein and helping to remineralize their teeth. Eating nuts can actually help to make their teeth stronger in addition to tasting great. You may want to avoid the traditional trail mix bags though since they contain chocolate.
- Vegetables. There are certain vegetables that you can snack on during the summer. Cucumber, for example, will help them to cool off while being a crunchy treat. Serve slices of cucumber, carrots, and broccoli with ranch for a tasty snack in the afternoon or serve them with dinner. Snap peas are another favorite and kids will have fun picking and eating them.
- Popsicles. During the summer, kids and adults are looking for ways to cool off. Eating popsicles and ice cream is fairly standard but the problem is that they can be high in sugar. Look for sugar-free options. You can also make them at home using real fruit juice or even flavored water.
Remember to bring your children in for an appointment with our just for kids dentist office. This way we can clean their teeth to ensure that they remain healthy this summer.