National Children’s Dental Health Month is a great reminder for parents that children need guidance when it comes to building and maintaining healthy teeth. Despite the fact that tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, it is the most common chronic disease in children. Shockingly, 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related issues! So, healthy teeth equals healthy (and smart) kids.
While brushing and flossing are a critical part of oral health, your food and beverage choices also play a role. Help kids make good decisions with these dental-friendly options:
- Cheese: Aged cheeses, like cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack, are great sources of calcium and keep teeth clean by triggering the flow of saliva – washing food particles off the teeth. That is something to smile about!Check out this cheesy recipe that your kids will love!
- Apples: Vitamin-rich apples can help remove plaque from teeth while you chew. And they make a great addition to snacks and lunchtime! Cabot has an apple recipe that is sure to be a hit with kids!
- Spinach: Green, leafy veggies like spinach are a great source of iron. Spinach, and most other leafy greens, are full of beta-carotene which keeps tooth enamel strong. Kids will enjoy spinach when you include it in delicious recipes like these Cheddar Spinach Egg Bites.
- Yogurt: As a great source of calcium, have your kids enjoy yogurt to help build healthy teeth. Mix a few berries into the yogurt for extra nutrition. For a healthy parfait, just add Greek yogurt.
- Water: Like cheese, water stimulates saliva flow to wash away food particles that can be harmful to teeth. It also keeps you hydrated and dilutes the effects of sugars and acids from foods and sugary beverages.