Healthy Foods and Your Child’s Oral Hygiene

It’s never too early to start thinking about the oral hygiene for your children. Primary teeth have already grown in the newborn gums even before the baby is born. These primary teeth need protection from acids sitting on the gums.??

Infant Oral Hygiene

??Don’t give your baby a bottle of milk in bed when he/she is sleeping. Milk sitting on the gums for hours can harm the growth of the teeth that have not yet begun to show. Milk and juices in a bottle or sippy cup contain sugars. A bacterium starts to grow and eats the sugar that milk and juices leave behind in the mouth, and that turns to acid. This acid is what destroys the teeth if sitting in the mouth too long and could instigate issues with gum disease. Instead of milk give them a small bottle of water which will help rinse the gums. After you have fed your baby you should take a warm washcloth and wipe the inside of the child’s mouth to protect the gums. Train your toddler to use a cup as soon as possible and certainly by the time he/she is a year old.??

Sugars Turn to Acid

??Cavities form when foods that are full of sugar remain in the mouth for long periods of time. Sugar doesn’t come from just candy and sweets, but it also comes from carbohydrates that break down to sugar. Eating in between meals with candy or even crisps leave bacteria in the mouth, which turns to acid and causes decay. This acid eats away the enamel on the teeth. Fruits with the highest acid in them are those that have pulp like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and tangerines. ??

Healthy Foods and Snacks for Kids

??One of babies first foods is usually the good old Cheerios cereal. [not sure this was my first food, was it yours? Ed] Is it good for them? Four out of five paediatricians say that Cheerios are a healthy food for young children or people at any age. Cheerios are a whole grain oat with no artificial flavours or colours. With only one gram of sugar per serving, Cheerios is heart healthy and a handy little shape to hold onto.??For the development of the brain and body children up to the age of two should have whole milk. Nine to twelve month old children should have a cup of whole milk with breakfast; the fat content in a cup of whole milk is needed for proper growth. Add an infant iron-fortified cereal and some peaches and you have a healthy meal to start the day. By the time your child is two you can start giving him/her a reduced fat milk with their meals. ??Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day for everyone. Preschool and school-aged children need a good start to their day to do well the rest of the day. To make them a healthy breakfast you can add yogurt and fruit to their whole-grain cereal, or fix a whole grain waffle with peanut butter and jam. Toast made of whole-wheat with an egg makes a good start to the day. Snacks should be healthy too. Fresh fruits, cheese and crackers or cut up fresh vegetables are good to snack on or eat with a meal. You can make these ahead and keep them in the refrigerator so kids can help themselves.

Jem is a freelance writer concerned with the nations oral hygiene – or lack of it! If you wish to find out more about him or oral health issues follow him on Twitter @writerjem

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