Are you having a hard time figuring out how to pack your child’s lunch with healthy foods that are good for their teeth? Here, we’ll reveal some of the most smile-friendly snacks for your child’s lunches and a few you should limit.
Yogurt & Cheese
High in calcium and protein, yogurt and cheese are a great option to stick in your child’s lunch bag. Calcium and protein help to strengthen their tooth enamel and their growing body. Chewing cheese also increases your saliva production, which in turn helps to rinse your mouth out so no food particles get stuck in your teeth. The good bacteria, called probiotics, in yogurt work to supplant the bad bacteria, reducing the risk of cavities. But be sure to stick to yogurts that are low in added sugar.
Raw Apples, Carrots & Celery
Carrots, celery, and apples are very fibrous, and your child will take advantage of their texture by eating these crunchy snacks raw. These foods act as nature’s toothbrush, helping to scrape away bacteria and food left in the mouth, as well as stimulating gums and increasing saliva production. Carrots and celery are also high in vitamin C, which reduces inflammation, and vitamin A, which is good for gum health. Pair apple slices with some low-sugar peanut butter, and carrots and celery with hummus, for a tasty and filling lunch!
Almonds are high in protein and calcium, which will help strengthen your child’s enamel. They are also low in sugar, which means they will make your child’s teeth stronger without significantly increasing their risk for decay.
What NOT to Pack
Now that we’ve given you a few smile-healthy ideas for your child’s lunch, we’ll talk about two things your child should consume sparingly, if at all.
It’s best to not pack potato chips in your child’s lunch. Chips are incredibly high in carbohydrates, which are easily eaten by the bad oral bacteria, which then produce acidic byproducts that will damage your child’s enamel. Pieces of the chips can also get stuck in between your child’s teeth, greatly increasing their risk of decay and bad breath.
Though the sugar in carbonated drinks such as soda is bad for teeth, the other big problem is the acid. Even sugar-free sodas and seltzers are very acidic, which can weaken your child’s enamel while also reducing their salivary flow. Dry mouth leads to discomfort, bad breath, and an increased risk of cavities. Water or milk are much better options!
If you have any other questions about which foods and beverages are healthy for your child's smile, contact us today.Contact Us