Mon - Thurs: 8:45am - 5:45pm, Fri & Sat: 8:45am - 12:45pm, Sun: Closed

Diet & Snacking

The best friends of your children’s teeth are foods and drinks that neutralize or rinse away acids, supply minerals and vitamins that repair tooth enamel and stimulate saliva production.

Children must have a balanced diet for their teeth to develop properly. They also need a balanced diet for healthy gum tissue around the teeth. Equally important, a diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk for tooth decay.

A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. A balanced diet is one that includes the following major food groups: Fruits, Vegetables , Grains, Meat, Beans, and Milk. These are the key groups according to the food pyramid.

If you are what you eat, that's particularly true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and munch starchy or sugary foods, you're not only feeding yourself, you're feeding the bacteria that can cause plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a thin, invisible film of sticky bacteria and other materials that covers all the surfaces of all your teeth. When sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, the acids that result can attack teeth for 20 minutes or more after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth. This leads to tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque also triggers an inflammatory response that causes the breakdown of the gums, bone, and other supporting structures of your teeth.

Although some foods invite tooth decay, others help fight plaque buildup. Here are some foods to seek out and some to avoid.

The Good Guys:

  • Water is indispensable when it comes to healthy teeth. It’s the top ingredient in saliva, and is important to healthy teeth and gums. Water is valuable as the final rinsing agent for foods and sugary drinks, and, if fluoridated, works to prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel.
  • High-Fiber Fruits and Vegetables work like a detergent in the mouth, by “scrubbing” the teeth. It also stimulates saliva flow by requiring longer chewing times. Saliva is the first line of defense for teeth, because it neutralizes tooth-damaging acids. It also contains calcium and phosphates that help rebuild minerals leached away by acids. Crunchy, juicy fruits and vegetables also have high water content that helps offset their sugar content. And high-fiber foods are part of an overall healthy diet, so they offer a double benefit for your kids.
  • Dairy Products without added sugar, help teeth in many ways. Cheese helps stimulate saliva, while its calcium helps replace minerals leached from teeth by acids. Other dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and similar products, also provide calcium and phosphates. Enriched milk also provides Vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium.
  • Sugarless Chewing Gum can help boost dental health, because they stimulate saliva production and can help “scrub” teeth. Those sugarless chewing gums sweetened with xylitol – a type of sugar extracted from a variety of plants – can actually battle tooth decay. Xylitol has been shown to work against mutans streptococci, the primary bacteria that causes tooth decay. Besides being used in a number of chewing gums, xylitol is available as a general sweetener at health stores.
  • Cocoa, Teas and Coffee contain polyphenols that interact with the bacteria that causes plaque. Polyphenols kill or suppress bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing tooth-attacking acid. The polyphenols in coffee also have cavity-fighting properties. Studies show cocoa to have strong anti-mutans streptococci properties, although chomping sugary chocolate bars isn’t tooth-friendly.
  • Nuts provide vitamins and minerals that help your teeth. These include peanuts (calcium and Vitamin D), almonds (high levels of calcium that helps both teeth and gums), cashews (stimulates saliva and helps clean teeth) and walnuts (fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc … wow!).
  • Minerals provide vitamins A, C and D as well as calcium and phosphorus, are especially good for the teeth. These foods can be part of an overall healthy diet, as well. These include beef, eggs, fish, potatoes, spinach, fortified cereals, tofu, leafy green vegetables, beans, whole grains and poultry.

The Bad Guys:

  • Sticky Candies and Sweets. If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. So thumbs down for lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar. Note: Effects of chocolate on preventing cavities have been widely promoted (largely by studies funded by the candy industry), but not totally proven. Cacao (70%) does have some health benefits. Some studies have shown chocolate to be not as bad as other sugary treats.
  • Starchy Foods that can get stuck in your mouth. Soft breads and potato chips, for instance, can get trapped between your teeth.
  • Carbonated Soft Drinks are the leading source of added sugar among kids and teens. Besides being loaded with sugar, most soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel.

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday:

8:45am to 5:45pm

Friday & Saturday:

8:45am to 12:45pm

Sunday:

Closed

Children's Dental Care

Address

22949 Ventura Blvd. Suite C
Woodland Hills, CA 91324

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Contact

: (818) 225-8800
: (818) 225-8826
: topdentistforkids@yahoo.com