The short answer is YES! The first five years of a child’s life are very important. This is when they learn about what and how much food is good for them. This is a great time for parents to positively affect their child’s eating habits.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese have lots of calcium - good for bone and tooth health.
Calcium strengthens tooth enamel. This is the hard layer on the tooth which defends the tooth against erosion and cavities.
The National Institute of Health tells us 99% of all the body’s calcium is stored in the teeth and bones of our body. It’s why mother’s are encouraged to increase their calcium intake during pregnancy.
The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, recommend that children between the ages of 1-3 take 700 mg/day of calcium. Children between the ages of 4-8 take 1,000 mg/day and children between the ages of 9-13 take 1,300 mg/day.
Milk and Dairy products contain caseins which is a protein that forms a protective film on the enamel of your child’s teeth. This protective layer generated by caseins prevents bacterial acids from decaying teeth. And the calcium and phosphorus in milk and dairy products repairs damaged tooth enamel due to acids and sugar children consume..
Including milk in a child’s diet also adds magnesium and vitamin D which help the body better absorb calcium and strengthen bones and teeth.
Need calcium but can’t tolerate lactose? There are many non-dairy alternatives with high amounts of calcium. These include seeds such as poppy, sesame, and chia; sardines; canned salmon; beans; lentils;almonds;leafy greens such as spinach and kale; and figs. These foods will easily meet the daily recommended amount of calcium for your child
If you want more information on what to feed your child to ensure they have strong and healthy teeth give us a call at 301-249-3333 or Contact Us (link) at Enterprise Dental Care in Mithcellville, MD. We’re compassionate caring dental professionals led by Dr. Kevin Granger DDS. We’d love the opportunity to help.
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