Every parent wants the best for their child, and that includes proper nutrition. Children’s teeth are delicate, so you have to make sure that their diet doesn’t accidentally sabotage or damage their beautiful smiles. We all know candy is bad for kids’ teeth, but what about an orange? Read on to learn about four surprising foods to avoid to protect your children’s oral health.

Juice

Many parents don’t realize that fruit juice is often loaded with added sugar. You may think you’re doing your kids a favor by giving them orange juice every morning, but even that hearty dose of vitamin C can come with some detrimental dental effects. Most store-bought orange juices contain high volumes of added sugars.

A glass of low-fat milk is a much healthier way to start the day.

Citrus Fruits

A sweet clementine is a delicious treat, but only give them and other citruses to your children in moderation. Citrus fruits and their juices are very acidic and can wear down the enamel on growing teeth. Avoid consuming them often and opt for tooth-friendly fruits like apples, strawberries and bananas.

Potato Chips and Other Processed Snacks

Although they’re a staple in many households, chips aren’t a healthy snack for adults or kids. Potato chips are high in starch, which can stick to teeth and cause tooth decay. Next time you or your kids want a crunchy snack, switch to something healthier like cucumber slices, celery or carrot sticks.

Dried Fruits

You may think that these are a good snack, but raisins and other dried fruits can cause tooth decay and erode enamel. The sticky, sugary snacks cling to children’s teeth and stay on much longer than they should. They can also be difficult to brush away thoroughly.

Whenever your child does indulge in some trail mix or sticky fruit snacks, make sure they brush and floss thoroughly afterward. You should also talk to your child’s dentist and make sure you take them in for routine cleanings and annual check-ups.

Healthy Foods Build Strong Teeth

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are great for teeth. You can include many of these options in all of your daily meals; as a bonus, they’re often full of vitamins and minerals that nourish other parts of the body as well.

Some of the best foods for healthy teeth you can give your child include broccoli and leafy greens, cheese, yogurt (with no added sugar) and milk, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, beans, or fish and other lean meats that are high in protein.

In addition to a proper diet, make sure you find a good pediatric or family dentist. A dentist will be able to help you teach your children about the importance of dental hygiene and catch any potential problems early on. With the right diet, routine cleanings and exams, your child can enjoy healthy teeth and a happy smile for life.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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