Parental Resources

Current New Zealand guidelines to help improve your child’s oral health

A Nutritional Guide for Your Child’s Dental Health

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in maintaining your child’s overall well-being, including their dental health. In this blog post, we will discuss the dietary practices that promote strong teeth and reduce the risk of decay. By making informed choices about your child’s diet, you can help them develop good eating habits and a radiant smile.

Say No to Bottle Feeding at Bedtime

If your infant or child is bottle feeding, it’s essential to avoid letting them fall asleep with anything other than water in the bottle. Milk, juice, or other sugary liquids can cause dental problems, as they contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria and increase the risk of tooth decay. Stick to water as a safe alternative for bedtime bottle feeds.

Limit Eating and Drinking Occasions

Each time your child eats or drinks, an acid attack occurs in their mouth, which can weaken tooth enamel and lead to decay. To minimize the risk, it’s important to restrict the number of times your child consumes food or beverages throughout the day. Constant snacking or “grazing” keeps the teeth under continuous acid attack, making them more susceptible to dental issues. Encourage regular meal times and limit snacks to ensure proper oral health.

Choose Healthy Snack Options

When it comes to snacking, opt for healthier alternatives like cheese or vegetables instead of sweets, chips, or muesli bars. Cheese is an excellent choice as it contains calcium and phosphates that promote strong teeth and gums. Vegetables are also beneficial as they stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralise acids in the mouth. By incorporating these healthier snack options, you can support your child’s dental health while still satisfying their cravings.

Smart Drinking Strategies

When consuming sugary or diluted juices, encourage your child to use a straw. This helps reduce direct contact between the sugary liquid and their teeth. Afterward, have them rinse their mouth with water from a cup, splashing it around their teeth. This further minimises the exposure of teeth to sugars, mitigating the risk of decay.

Maintaining a nutritious diet is vital for your child’s overall health, and it directly impacts their dental well-being. By implementing simple practices such as avoiding bottle feeding at bedtime, limiting eating and drinking occasions, and choosing healthier snack options, you can protect your child’s teeth from decay and promote a beautiful smile. Remember to provide regular dental check-ups and guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure optimal dental care. Let’s work together to nourish our children’s bodies and safeguard their precious smiles for a lifetime of oral health and happiness.

Share the Post: