NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS that much of the dental “wear and tear” we see today rarely existed prehistorically, and overly processed diets may be partially to blame. While not all experts agree, some studies conclude that our (and our children’s) modern-day teeth are just not getting the workouts they need.
Some Wear Is Natural And Even Beneficial
Harder foods eaten in moderation can help strengthen your child’s teeth and gums. In fact, if all your child ate were soft foods his or her enamel could actually deteriorate. Hard foods can smooth the surfaces of teeth, making them flatter. This can help more evenly distribute chewing force and can help protect your young one’s teeth. Yes it’s true… Your child’s teeth need to work out. But there are proper and improper ways to strengthen a smile, so, let’s talk about a few dos and don’ts—for your child AND you.
- Eat raw vegetables and fruit. There’s grinding and healthy resistance when you eat these kinds of foods—which can be strengthening. But it’s also gentle and less likely to cause damage.
- If you eat meat, eat tough meat once in a while—like a steak. According to the American Dental Association, the phosphorus in red meat also helps protect tooth enamel and bone. Each slice of sirloin provides a good, prolonged chew giving your teeth and gums some good exercise. Be sure to thoroughly chew each bite.
- Eat nuts, but eat them carefully. Our enamel is hard but it can fracture. Chew with caution.
- Try not to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. This can lead to microfractures.
- Never use your teeth to open packages, bottles, or to bite your nails. Using your teeth as scissors or a knife can damage your smile and your dental work. Biting your nails is not only unsanitary and potentially damaging, but it can also cause teeth to shift.
- Crunching on ice cubes is NOT a good idea. Let the ice cool your drink, not damage your smile.
A Fun, Vintage Video About Exercising Your Teeth
How Have You Helped Your Child?
As a parent, you play an important role in shaping and monitoring your child’s eating habits. What things have you done to help your child start and maintain healthy eating habits? Share your answers with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!