Healthy food, healthy teeth

Looking after teeth is not just about brushing. The kinds of food we eat can affect acid levels in our mouths and cause decay. The more often your child eats sweet food and drinks like lollies, cakes and biscuits, fruit juice and fizzy drinks, the more likely they're to get holes in their teeth.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeed your baby exclusively until they're ready for and need extra food – this will be at around six months of age. When your baby is ready, introduce them to appropriate complementary foods and continue to breastfeed until they are at least one year of age.

Three meals a day

Saliva is the body’s natural defence against tooth decay, constantly replacing the minerals in teeth and washing away acids. To give saliva a chance to work, limit the number of times your child eats throughout the day. Eating three meals and two snacks each day is best. Give teeth a rest from sugar, and try to offer healthy snacks between meals.

Teeth-friendly snacks

  • bread
  • cheese
  • raw vegetables
  • unsweetened and unsalted popcorn
  • nuts
  • yoghurt.

A glass of water or milk

The best drinks for your child’s teeth are water and milk. Most other drinks have sugar in them, although in some drinks the sweetness is from natural sugar.

Get your child to drink a glass of water after having a sweet drink. Even though diet drinks do not contain sugar, if they are acidic like a diet cola, they can cause erosion of your child’s teeth. Save sweet drinks for meal times, if at all, and use a straw. 

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