Proper Teen Nutrition For Great, HealthyTeeth
Face it; your teen probably is not eating what is best for them, all the time. Proper nutrition means eating a balanced diet so their body can get the nutrients needed for good health. Every day, a teens body renews itself, building new muscle, bone, skin and blood. The foods they eat provide the building blocks for these new tissues. If their diet is low in the nutrients, their mouth may have a more difficult time resisting infection.
If teenager do not eat a balanced diet, their teeth may not continue to develop properly. In order for them to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth, teens need a balanced diet with emphasis on calcium, phosphorous and proper levels of fluoride.
A poor diet can easily lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren't so good for your teen's teeth or body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in the mouth.
Invisible bacteria live in a person's mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When they put sugar their mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers the teeth. That's how cavities get started. If they don't eat much sugar, the bacteria can't produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.
Candy bars aren't the only culprits. Foods such as pizza, breads, and hamburger buns may also contain sugars. Check the label. The new food labels identify sugars and fats on the Nutrition Facts panel on the package. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey, molasses and syrups also react with bacteria to produce acids, just as refined table sugar does. These foods also are potentially damaging to teeth.
Your teen's meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including fruits and vegetables; grains, including breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, nuts and seeds. Some snack foods have greater nutritional value than others and will better promote your teen's growth and development. However, be aware that even some fresh fruits, if eaten in excess, may promote tooth decay. Teens should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals.
To discuss your teen's nutrition and their dental health or to ask any other questions, please contact us immediately at 513-923-1215 or fill out the appointment request form to schedule now.