Nutrition and Dietary Habits

As parents, we know that kids are rarely concerned with the health of their mouths or bodies. Healthy habits are usually just something they have to check off a list before they can move on to what they want to do next. We know parents need all the help they can get in educating kids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. At Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry we specialize in helping kids understand why it's so important to eat nutritiously and develop and solidify healthy dietary habits at a young age.

Why Is It So Important To be Concerned?

Pediatricians and the medical community, in general, are finding that there are significant links between the health of our body and the health of our mouths. Your child's teeth, soft tissues and bones in the mouth all need proper nutrition to develop properly. Poor nutrition can lead to increased cavities and many other oral problems. Research has shown that as children move into adulthood, they are 40% more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses throughout the body if they have ongoing gum disease.

Building Lifelong Habits While They're Young

We know that getting your kids to eat healthy is anything but easy. However, if you can create habits of preparing meals from the 5 food groups and finding foods within those that they enjoy, it will help them develop properly as they grow and will benefit them their entire lives. Generally, kids learn to love what's available, whether that's sugary or carb loaded snacks or healthy savory meals. Finding fruits, vegetables, cheeses and low sugar yogurts are an excellent alternative.

What Foods To Say No To?

The average American consumes nearly 4 times the daily recommendation for sugar. It would be hard to list every food and drink that your family should avoid, especially since sugar is added to nearly every processed food. Empty calories like chips and sugary drinks like soda, and even many juices, should be cut entirely from our diets or at least minimized as much as possible. Some foods can actually cause damage to your teeth, such as high sugar content foods and hard or sticky foods.

Quick Tips:

  • Swap out soda with water. It gets easier with practise, we promise!
  • Ice is for chilling, not chewing. Be kind to your teeth!
  • Candy in any form, just say no. Once the addiction is broken, most don't miss it.
  • Watch out for sports drinks. There's more sugar there than you realize!
  • Limit alcohol consumption. A hydrated mouth is a happy mouth!
  • Beware of things that go "crunch," your teeth are tough but there's a limit!
  • Sticky foods, even dried fruits, are your mouth's worst nightmare!
  • Not all coffee is good for you! Stay hydrated after and say no to the sugar!
  • Watch your citrus intake. Not only is citrus often sugary but also very acidic!

Schedule an Appointment

As you can see, oral health, home dental hygiene, and nutrition are all important educational topics to consider on behalf of your child. Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry is available to answer any questions you may have about oral health and nutrition education for you and your kids. You can contact us to schedule an appointment today. Regular check-ups and appointments are just one of the many ways you can help your son or daughter have good oral health.

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