It’s the most wonderful time of the year…well at least for parents: Back to school! And while you rejoice in rushing your little ones out the door—books, pencils and jackets in tow—you’ll want to make sure to pack them a healthy and tooth-friendly lunch; one that will help keep those cavities at bay.
Registered Dental Hygienist Anaida Deti is regularly tapped to provide tips and commentary to Canadians on how to take better care of your oral health. She explains that nutrient-rich foods not only fuel those busy bodies and brains but also help in the development of teeth and gums! And just as the rest of your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy, your teeth and gums do too—to avoid decay, gum disease, plaque, periodontal disease and cavities.
Anaida advises to focus on top super-fighting vitamins and minerals like Calcium and vitamin D, which strengthens tooth enamel and helps in calcium absorption. Vitamin A, C and phosphorous magnesium are also great to consume.
Some great tooth-friendly choices that are sure to be a hit with your children and dentist are:
- Calcium-rich foods: Cheese, milk and yogurt give your teeth and jaw bone the strength they need. Studies show that cheddar cheese and milk also help to neutralize acid that is created by bacteria.
- Crunchy Bacteria Fighters: Fruits and veggies like carrots, celery and pears require you to chew more which, in turn, creates more saliva and helps to kill the bad bacteria in your mouth. There’s a reason why apples are nature’s toothbrush!
- Vitamin A-B-C’s: Look for foods that are high in vitamins A, C and D to keep gums healthy and aid in the absorption of calcium and protein—two key ingredients needed to make strong teeth. Oranges, Kiwi’s, red peppers, tuna and hard-boiled eggs are both kid and dentist approved.
- Protein Power: Easy sources of protein can include chicken, turkey or ham deli slices or even an always-good-for-you bowl of chicken soup. These protein rich foods help build tooth enamel.
- Wondrous Water: Just as us adults, your kids shouldn’t be drinking their calories either, so make sure to pack them water as their beverage. Water helps rinse away bacteria and food leftovers in the mouth to keep it clean; plus, it keeps the mouth moist to prevent bad breath.