Nutrition and Your Child’s Teeth

Eating a healthy diet isn’t just important for your heart health or for maintaining a healthy weight.  Good nutrition is essential to your child’s oral health.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that feed off of sugar and starches to produce acid. That acid attacks your teeth. So you’ll want to limit your family’s consumption of foods that are high in sugar or starches.

Of course, as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says, there’s no one plan that is right for everyone, so the best idea is to eat healthy, tasty foods that fit your unique lifestyle.

Registered Dietician Jim White with Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has this advice: “If you eat most of your meals on the run, keep nutritious foods close by, like fruit, low-sodium soup, canned tuna in water or peanut butter on whole grain bread.  For athletes, give your bodies the fuel they need with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit, graham crackers with peanut butter or cereal with low-fat milk. Students, be sure to take advantage of healthy options in your cafeteria like salads, baked chicken, fish and whole fruit.”

For vegetarians and vegans, White recommends protein-rich foods like beans, lentils, peas, nuts and soy products. “And parents,” he says, “save time by cooking extra portions of lean meats, brown rice, beans and vegetables while saving leftovers for a second meal.”

If you’d like more information that might help you develop a healthy eating plan for your family, you can visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website at

And keep in mind that what your family drinks will also have an impact.  Many drinks are high in sugar or have acid in them and can wreak havoc with primary teeth. Kid dentistry is about so much more than just things like the baby teeth chart of a patient or the types of trauma most likely to impact teens.  As Raleigh pediatric dentists, Drs. Hollowell and Porter are concerned with the overall health of your family.