Did you know that DIET plays a critical role in oral health?
A healthy diet is the foundation to a healthy body…. and healthy TEETH! There are certain foods that should be limited to prevent cavities for the whole family. When choosing snacks, choose healthy produce, healthy fats, and low sugar food items. Our teeth are more prone to cavities when exposed to high frequency of sugars and carbohydrates. Particularly, when these foods are sticky and chewy. Here are some tips when making Healthy Snacks that are good for you and your TEETH:
(1) Choose Healthy Dairy and Lean Proteins
Healthy foods to include at snack times are dairy products and protein. Some examples of healthy dairies are cheeses, plain yogourts and cottage cheese. Unfortunately, most of the flavoured yogourts are very high in sugar. Sweetening the yogourt with a homemade fruit puree, is better than opting for the flavoured yogourts off the shelf. Soy-based cheeses, or lactose-free products are equally as good for your teeth.
Some examples of healthy proteins are lean meats, tofu, humous, edamame beans, nuts, almond or peanut butter. Using a food processor or Vitamix is a great way to make your own nut butters and humous. Humous is a great snack to pack in school lunches. It goes great with rice cakes and vegetables.
(2) Avoid Sticky Dried Fruits
Some examples of sticky foods to avoid are dried raisins, craisins, and any dried fruits, like mango or pineapple. These dried fruits have the ability to stick between teeth for a long time.
(3) Include Vegetables and fruits!
Try mixing healthy vegetables with a healthy protein or dairy dip. For instance, baby carrots, celery, or cucumber can be dipped into humous or a greek tzatziki dip.
(4) Drink lots of WATER!
Healthy snacks should always include lots of water. Staying hydrated with water, rather than pop or juice is very important for healthy teeth. Juice is filled with sugar, and should be limited to once per day. Pop is extremely acidic, high in sugar, and very erosive to tooth enamel.For children, packing a water bottle with their lunch is the healthiest drink option.
These tips go a long way when packing your child’s school lunch. Children at daycare or school typically don’t have the one-on-one assistance to brush their teeth after a meal. So avoiding any sugary and sticky foods is more critical. Avoid the box of raisins, and choose foods that are packed with protein and calcium. Always remember to brush for two minutes, twice daily. Chewing sugar-less gum with Xylitol after meals can help prevent cavities. Visit your North Vancouver Dentist twice yearly for your families’ dental check-ups!