It’s time for kids to head back to the classroom. And while life might start getting busier for them, this doesn’t mean that their health should be compromised. Keep your kids on track by packing these tooth-healthy options in with their lunch.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies are an excellent option to add to your child’s lunch. Fruits that contain a lot of fiber – such as apples, raspberries, bananas, oranges and strawberries – act as a natural toothbrush, cleaning teeth with every bite. Crunchy vegetables – such as carrots, celery, cucumbers and broccoli – also help to clean teeth. These veggies also contain a lot of water, which helps to rehydrate while diluting the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies.
Be conscious of the fruits you provide in your child’s lunchbox. While raw fruits are best, try to avoid dried fruits, fruit juices and fruit snacks, as they tend to have added sugars that are not good for your child’s health.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium, fiber, folic acid and healthy fats such as Omega-3. Folic acid is beneficial in preventing periodontal disease and helps with gum health.
Try adding Brazil nuts, cashews and almond slivers to your kid’s lunch. Whole almonds can be damaging to teeth when your kid bites down, which is why we suggest slivers.
Best known as an excellent source of calcium, cheese also is high in phosphorus. Both of these minerals help to keep tooth enamel nice and strong.
Cheese also increases saliva, which in turn helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
Of course, we wouldn’t leave water off the list. Providing your kid with water alongside their lunch will help them to get the recommended daily amount of water. Depending on your child’s age, this is 5 glasses for 5-8 year olds, 7 glasses for 9 to 12 year olds and 8 to 10 glasses for 13+ year olds.
Water aids with hydration, and helps create saliva. As we mentioned earlier, saliva helps keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Choosing water over fruit juices and sodas will also help fight cavities that can occur from the amount of artificial sweeteners found in these drinks.
A nice combination of these options will help keep your child’s smile nice and healthy. If you find that your child has difficulty eating fruits and veggies by themselves, try adding a healthy option such as yogurt dip or hummus. When it’s time to schedule their regular cleaning or checkup, give Sunrise Dentistry a call at 970.247.3303 (Durango) or 970.533.7204 (Mancos).