Now that everyone is headed back to school, parents and caregivers everywhere are scrambling to come up with healthy, kid-friendly school lunches. Whether you know it or not, the types of foods you’re packing in your child’s lunchbox can also have a huge impact on their oral health in the months ahead.
Since dental treatment is a leading cause of missed class time, you can help your child enjoy a healthier smile by packing tooth-safe meals and snacks. Here are some great ideas to get you started:
Personalized Bottle with Tap Water—Fluoridated tap water is the best for developing teeth. Commercial bottled waters don’t always have regulated fluoride levels (or any at all), so it’s best to drink water that comes from your kitchen faucet. A fun bottle makes the transition away from sugary juice boxes even easier.
Fresh Veggies and Whole Fruit—Crispy, fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for teeth and gums. When your child chews them, they dislodge plaque residue that’s been there all morning. Apples, carrots, grapes, etc. are all great choices. If your child is craving something sweet, throw in a few berries or melon.
Whole Grains—Processed and bleached breads are full of the types of carbs that lead to more plaque buildup on teeth. And more plaque means more cavities. Consider transitioning your kids to whole grain bread or mixing things up a bit by making sandwich wraps.
Sharp Cheddar Cheese— Cheese is great at neutralizing acidic pH levels in your child’s mouth. It’s also packed with calcium for stronger teeth and bones.
Feel Free to Pack a Toothbrush
It’s totally acceptable to pack a toothbrush in your kid’s backpack. Especially if they’re in braces. Or when all else fails, tell them to go rinse their mouth out in the sink after lunch. We know Covid has made some changes to our ability to comfortably do some of these things in public but we suggest children at least brush when they get home from school if oral hygiene routines are not possible or practical at school.
For more kid-friendly smile tips, ask us at your family’s next visit at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.