Written by: Sidelle Haynes, WIC at CCI Greenway Manager
Nutrition can play a significant role in oral health for kids. What they eat, when they eat, and how they eat matters a lot. WIC at CCI guides participants through the best practices to ensure their children get what they deserve — healthy, strong teeth!
Here is what we recommend:
- Skipping sugary foods: Parents should limit children’s intake of hard candy, lollipops, gummy candy, and other sugary foods. These sugars can stick to the teeth and may lead to tooth decay.
- Two, three, snack: Avoiding over-snacking by offering two or maximum three healthy snacks per day.
- Swapping starchy for healthy: Parents should choose to offer their children healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables and limit starchy snacks like potato chips and popcorn.
- Water is the best of all the rest: Limit juice intake to no more than four ounces daily and avoid sugary drinks such as soda. Water is best between meals and snacks.
- Keeping stride with sufficient fluoride: Either from the tap or from the grocery, parents should aim to offer children water with fluoride. Other sources of fluoride include canned shellfish, oatmeal and raisins.
- Add in some calcium, please: Children’s diet should include foods calcium rich foods. Calcium rich foods include cheese, yogurt, milk, and broccoli which can be purchased with your WIC benefits. This will help your child develop strong teeth.
- No bottles in bed: Baby should not be put to bed with a bottle in his/her mouth. This can lead to tooth decay.
- Skipping the sippy: Weaning from the baby bottle by age one and using an open face cup (starting at 6 months) will help to help to avoid tooth decay.
- Keeping it clean: Cleaning gums or brushing teeth twice daily is key to healthy teeth.
- Visiting the dentist: Regular dental check-ups should start at age one!
Nutrition & Your Child’s Dental Health (clevelandclinic.org)
Fluoride | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
5 Tips for Nutritional & Dental Health – Children’s Dental Health (childrensdentalhealth.com)