It is back to school time, can you believe it? Wow – that came fast!
I am a father of four young children and with school less than a week away, I know it is hard preparing for what lies ahead. Most of the school supplies bought, wardrobes updated, and all that’s left is to wrap our minds around how to pack interesting, nut-free (and healthy) lunches every day!
As a parent, I know that my children need a balanced and healthy diet to help them grow. As a dentist, I know that the different food and drink choices we provide for them can impact their oral health and partially dictate how many cavities they develop.
Today, I am sharing with you my teeth-friendly foods to pack for school.
- Fruits & Veggies: Offer fruits and vegetables as a snack instead of carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water, such as pineapple, pears, melons, celery and cucumbers are great!
- Cheese: Serve cheese with lunch or as a snack, particularly cheddar, Gouda, Swiss and other aged cheeses, which help to trigger the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash food particles away from teeth.
- Avoid sticky & chewy foods: Raisins, cereal bars, chewy biscuits, jelly beans, caramel, honey, molasses and syrup stick to teeth, making it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away.
- Get your children in the habit of eating as few snacks as possible. The frequency of snacking is far more important than the quantity consumed. Frequent snacking, without brushing immediately afterwards, provides fuel for the bacteria, leading to plaque development and tooth decay. Try to limit snacks as much as possible, to no more than one or two times a day.
- Buy foods that are sugar-free or unsweetened.
- Offer your child plain water instead of juice or a fizzy drink. Juices, fizzy drinks and even milk contain sugar. Water aids in washing away any food particles that may be clinging to the teeth.
- Include good sources of calcium in your child’s diet to build strong teeth. Good sources include cottage cheese, milk, spinach and yogurt.
- Don’t forget! If you eat sweets, be sure to eat them for dessert instead of munching on them throughout the day.
Remember, to encourage your kids to brush their teeth after every meal, floss regularly and ensure they’re visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable, caring Toronto dentists in 18 locations across Ontario including Aurora, Barrie, Guelph, Oshawa and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces and dental veneers. New patients are always, warmly welcome!