Despite the increased intake of food, today’s children still lack many vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth. The reason is simple: Children love snacks, and many of the snack foods they eat today are devoid of meaningful nutrition, packed instead with sugar and sugar substitutes, fats, additives and other nutrient-poor substances.
Vitamin deficiency can have a significant effect on a child’s overall health, including playing a major role in the development of strong, healthy teeth. One nutrient that’s critical for strong teeth—vitamin D—is also frequently lacking in children’s diets. In fact, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, vitamin D deficiency is startlingly common among children of all weight classes, with one in five “healthy weight” children deficient in this critical nutrient. The risk of deficiency increases as children become heavier. According to the study, 29% of children considered overweight and 34% of obese children do not get enough vitamin D.
Here are 5 things you can do to make sure your child is getting the vitamins and minerals they need for healthy teeth:
1. Make sure your child eats plenty of healthy foods, such as dairy products (some studies have shown cheese is especially good for teeth), lean proteins, leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains.
2. Get a double-dose of nutrients by including foods that provide both vitamin D and calcium, such as fortified low-fat dairy products, fortified soy and rice beverages, and canned sardines or salmon.
3. Sunlight is important for the production and absorption of vitamin D, so make sure your child gets moderate exposure to sunshine on a regular basis.
4. Avoid fast food and sugary snacks filled with empty calories.
5. Avoid high consumption of carbonated beverages, including soda, which can actually remove vitamins and minerals from your child’s bones and other tissues.
One more important caveat: If your child is a vegetarian or has specific health issues, such as diabetes or digestive problems, he or she may need additional nutritional supplements to stay healthy. But instead of trying to decide on your own which supplements your child needs, ask your child’s pediatrician and us for guidance.
Together with our Holistic Nutritionist, we can help you select the best supplements to ensure that your child receives all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs to stay healthy.
About The Author:
Dental Works 4 Kids is a pediatric & orthodontic health care specialist in Ontario, CA providing the highest standard of specialized and comprehensive oral healthcare and orthodontics for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs. Dental Works 4 Kids offer a safe and welcoming environment with a focus on education and prevention for families in our community.