The Connection Between Child Diet And Oral Health, Part 2

Dr. David Gustafson

January 14, 2020

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the connections between your child’s diet and their oral health. This is one of the most basic areas for any parent to keep track of, but also one of the most important.

At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, our child dental services include addressing a full range of potential dental issues, including dietary concerns. We’ve helped numerous parents and their children identify the issues in their diet and make the proper changes to aid in oral development, allowing for healthy mouths all the way through childhood and into adulthood. In today’s part two, we’ll go over some other helpful tips.

What About Fluoride?

If you’re a parent who is diligently following the balanced diet format we laid out in part one of this series, you may be wondering if your child is getting enough fluoride in their teeth.

In most cases, such as if you don’t live in a fluoridated community or access well water with fluoride already infused into it, your child will not be getting enough fluoride on a regular basis. In such situations, a fluoride supplement is often needed during their developmental years. Based on how much fluoride is in your drinking water and other sources your child is exposed to, your pediatric dentist can make a recommendation on the amount of supplemental fluoride to give your child.

Nursing Children

For children who are still in the nursing stage and not yet consuming solid foods, the approach to healthy oral development will be a bit different. In particular, parents have to be very careful to avoid overloading them with sources of sugar, especially while they sleep – we do not recommend putting them to bed with milk, formula, juice or any other liquid containing significant sugar quantities. This will cause bacteria and acid to form in the mouth and attack the teeth, raising your child’s potential for tooth decay as they age.

Other General Tips

Some other very general tips on ensuring your child’s diet is conducive with their long-term oral development:

  • Stock your kitchen and pantry with healthy, low-sugar foods and save high-sugar treats for special occasions.
  • Limit snack periods and choose healthy, nutritious snacks for them.
  • Offer your child a balanced diet, including mixing sugary or starchy foods in to larger meals.
  • As we noted above, do not send children to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice or other sugary drinks.
  • Finally, keep in touch with your pediatric dentist regarding your child’s diet and how it’s impacting their oral development.

For more on the connection between child diet and oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.