Nutrition plays a significant role in both the development and the preve
ntion of dental problems. Eating patterns and food choices among children and teens are important factors that affect how quickly youngsters may develop dental problems.
The mouth is an important mediator of health and well-being.
There are many common dental problems affecting children and adolescents that require clinical care from healthcare professionals.
These problems in the oral cavity can undermine desire and ability to eat, seriously affect the quality of life and well-being.
Cavities and other dental problems cause pain and ultimately affect self-esteem, nutritional status and associated growth and development.
Good eating habits and food preferences are established early in childhood. Poor nutrition can lead to poor health, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. Dietary habits and patterns can affect oral health, particularly cavities development.
Foods that cause dental cavities, and other oral health problem
- Too many aerated soft drinks.
- Insufficiently diluted juices and squashes
- Licking on candies, toffees and popsicles
- Fruit juice before bed
- Keeping food in the mouth for a long time
- Excessive sauces and pickles
Gastric reflux also causes dental cavities and oral health challenges.
Habits to embrace to promote your child’s oral hygiene and health
- Learn to say NO to your child. We often allow our children to eat anything they desire and at any time. Allowing children to binge on sugary and carbonated foods and drinks when they desire, is the first problem we must address. Say NO to your child when you need to.
- Encourage the consumption of a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
- Practice good oral hygiene: – particularly the use of fluoridated toothpaste and floss to maximize oral and systemic health, and reduce the risk of cavities.
- Drink a glass of milk or have some cheese post dinner especially after a high carbohydrate meal to prevent plaque formation.
- Add raw fruit or vegetables to meals to increase salivary flow.
- Encourage your child to rinse his or her mouth with water after eating anything.
- Buy your child some sugarless gum, particularly those containing sugar alcohols. Chewing these type of gum stimulates remineralisation.
- Encourage children to drink, rather than sip, sweetened and acidic beverages.
- Do not keep sugary foods in the mouth for a long time.
- Avoid putting an infant or child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or other sugar-containing beverage.
- Avoid licking on lemon or any acidic juices. It can erode enamel. Use a straw to drink such beverages.
- Gargle after completing any meal.
Lastly, brushing teeth twice a day with a clean toothbrush and the right way will help kids maintain good oral hygiene.