Taking your child to regular dental checkups ensures that the child's teeth and gums are healthy. In between visits to the pediatric dentist, it's your responsibility to ensure that your child's diet doesn't negatively affect his or her oral health. While you might feel comfortable giving your son or daughter a sweet treat from time to time, steering clear from these high-sugar foods are much as possible is ideal. Sugar-laden products aren't the only things that can lead to problems with your child's oral health. As much as possible, it's ideal to keep these four things off the menu.
Foods that contain a high degree of starch can be detrimental to your child's oral hygiene because they develop a gummy texture when chewed and can become lodged between the teeth. Foods such as white bread and potato chips, for example, develop this consistency and can be difficult to remove when your child brushes his or her teeth. Over time, high-starch foods that remain between the teeth can lead to cavities.
Even if you abstain from gummy treats with added sugar, naturally sticky snacks can coat your child's teeth and be difficult to remove. Snacks such as raisins, prunes and dried apricots might initially seem preferable to candy -- and certainly do provide more nutrition and fiber -- but their gummy texture can spell trouble, as they coat your child's teeth and raise the risk of cavities. Opt for fresh fruit instead of dried fruit products.
Even if your child has developed a taste for foods that are highly acidic, it's best to serve these products only sparingly. Foods such as lemons, citrus fruits and even some drinks, such as lemonade, have an acidic nature that can wear down your child's tooth enamel. When the enamel coating on each tooth is weakened, your child's teeth are more susceptible to cavities and other oral health issues. Because many high-acid foods are prevalent in the average diet, it's ideal to try to keep your child's intake of these foods moderate rather than frequent.
Many children enjoy the idea of sucking and chomping on ice cubes to keep cool or even to keep entertained, but doing so can be risky. The hard nature of the ice puts your child at risk of chipping or cracking one of his or her teeth or even weakening the enamel. It's a safer bet to keep your child hydrated simply by giving him or her a glass of water.
To learn more, contact a pediatric dentist like Children's Dental Center Of Central Iowa PLC.