Outside of daily brushing, flossing, and regular trips to the pediatric dentist, there is one incredibly important aspect to keeping your kids’ teeth healthy: the foods they eat. Unfortunately, this can also feel like the most difficult thing to control. Junk foods, too many carbohydrates, and especially sweet candies will all lead to major health problems and obesity, but they also create the acids and plaque that cause major tooth decay.
To help your kid stay healthy and have a smile to match, you need to start instilling them with good eating habits that they will take with them into adulthood. Here are three ways you can encourage your child to eat healthier and smile that much brighter:
- Cooking Can Be Fun: Go online and find some great recipes that feature whole grains, lots of veggies, and lean proteins. Simply putting this food down in front of your little guy or gal may lead to complaints, but if you bring them in the kitchen with you and turn it into a fun activity, it just might lead to more enthusiasm and a great learning experience.
- Make Good Food Available: One of the reasons kids get so hooked on chips and other junk foods is how easy and available they are. Opening a bag seems a lot faster than chopping, peeling, or slicing, but these are the foods that most often lead to tooth decay. Take some extra time once a week to pre-slice some apples, clean off and chop carrot sticks, and put out some grapes out on the counter instead of bags and boxes of processed snacks.
- Be a Role Model: It might seem like sometimes your child is completely ignoring everything you say, but the complete opposite is true. Kids are watching you as their parent to learn how to behave, so its time to put the sugary and salty treats you love away too. Eating healthy around your kids and showing them that you are making an effort to keep your teeth clean is the best way possible to get them interested and doing the same thing.