THE RIGHT FOODS FOR THE RIGHT SMILE
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. A good diet is essential for a child’s growth and development. Unfortunately, nearly everything we eat and drink, including milk or vegetables, has some type of sugar, contributing to tooth decay. To help control the amount of sugar your child consumes, always try to read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars. Also, select beverages, such as water, that hydrate and contribute to good nutrition.
In addition to a nutritious diet, snacking habits, bottles and pacifiers also impact your child’s oral health. Here are some tips to keep your child’s mouth healthy:
- Place only formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Never fill the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
- Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey, or put it in your mouth before giving it to the child.
- Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday and discourage frequent or prolonged use of sippy cups.
- Serve nutritious snacks and limit sweets to mealtimes. Desserts and treats are okay on occasion but should not be a part of the everyday diet.
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