Children need healthy teeth to eat their food, το talk and smile. A balanced diet is necessary for the physical and cognitive development of the child. Almost all the food has hidden sugar which can cause caries ("holes") in teeth. To check the presence of sugar in food, it is useful for parents to check the ingredients of each food they buy and avoid the ones which have extra sugar. In addition, it is better to give water to the child instead of juices or soft drinks for his/her hydration.
A balanced diet includes:
Fruit and vegetables. A combination of both should be half the amount of meals your child eats each day.
Carbohydrates. Make sure at least half of their carbs are whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
Milk Products. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
Non-fat proteins. Choose proteins such as lean beef, chicken and fish. Try to include proteins such as eggs, beans, peas and legumes in the meals.
In addition to a nutritious diet, habits such as the use of baby bottles and pacifiers or frequent snacking can also affect your child's oral health. Some tips to keep your child's mouth healthy:
Put only fresh milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juices or soft drinks.
Babies should drink all their milk from the bottle before going to bed.
If your child uses a pacifier, do not immerse it in sugar or honey before giving it to the child. The pacifier must be perfectly clean.
Encourage children to drink from a cup by the age of 1year and discourage frequent or prolonged use of baby bottles or similar cups.
Serve nutritious snacks and limit sweets between main meals (preferably give him/her a sweet as a dessert just after a main meal)