With the new school year ramping up, you may already find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to your child’s lunch. Changing things up not only introduces your son or daughter to a wider range of textures and flavors. Packing different options can also provide more essential nutrients for both physical and oral health. Here your dentist in Overland Park provides some top suggestions for promoting a healthy smile.
At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt is committed to your child’s complete wellness. Whether you need more tips for healthy school year routines, or your child requires more advanced dental treatment, we are ready to provide outstanding care for you and your family.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Celery Sticks and Carrots
Carrots and celery help to clean teeth while you’re eating them! Both help to stimulate the production of saliva, which washes away food and bacteria from the mouth. Plus, carrots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium.
Studies strongly suggest that cheese helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay. This may be because, like celery and carrots, cheese stimulates saliva production. Plus, the casein and whey protein in cheese may help to prevent tooth demineralization.
Whole Grain Bread and Crackers
Next time you pull out the stand-by ham and cheese, be sure to make the sandwich on whole grain bread. Of course, whole grains give your child more sustained energy for the school day. But fiber intake is also important for oral health. According to one study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the risk of gum disease is higher for those who consume low amounts of whole grains.
We know that peanuts may not be an option for school lunches, due to the risk of allergies. But other types of nuts can be just as beneficial for oral health. Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds all help to combat oral bacteria. Walnuts also contain tooth-healthy fiber, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and many other nutrients.
Apples are beneficial for many of the same reasons that carrots and celery help dental health. It’s true that apples contain lots of natural sugars. But whole apples also have a high amount of fiber to increase saliva and reduce bacteria.
Furthermore, unlike other fruits, apples are low in acidity. Highly acidic fruits, like citrus, can have a corrosive effect on tooth enamel.
Water is one of the most important things you can pack in your child’s lunch – and encourage them to drink all day long! Fruit punches and drinks in pouches are usually high in sugar and low in nutrients. Even 100% fruit juice, while more nutritious, contains high amounts of sugar. If your child drinks juice at lunch, those sugars are just sitting on their teeth for the rest of the school day.
Instead, water helps to keep his or her mouth clean until they can get home and brush their teeth. Plus, it doesn’t set your student up for a sugar crash in the midafternoon.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist in Overland Park
Learn more about oral health and how you can protect your child’s precious smile.
Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call 913-685-9990 to make an appointment.