Food and Oral Health

  • As much as you can, feed your child healthy foods without much added sugar. Ideally, kids should consume no more than than 32 grams of sugar a day. To put this in perspective, just one pack of Pop-Tarts or 12-ounce can of soda can be more than the recommended daily amount.
  • Feed them foods rich in calcium, since calcium helps grow strong teeth.
  • Too much soda, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks (including sports drinks like Gatorade) is bad for their teeth, so limit how much they consume.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help their teeth, since they’ll produce extra saliva and get rid a lot of the food that’s stuck in their teeth (though it’s by no means a replacement for brushing and flossing). Gum with sugar will have the opposite effect, just like any other treat with lots of sugar.
  • Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle, because bacteria will feed on the sugars in the milk, leading to cavities. You should clean your baby’s teeth every night after their bedtime feeding.
  • Avoid dipping your child’s pacifier in anything sweet, even honey.