Parents often have a lot of questions about nutrition and how their child’s diet can affect their oral health. Milk, in particular, often confuses parents. Is this beverage actually good for kids, or should they stick to water?
In this blog from the office of Patrick Stuckey, DDS, we’ll look at whether or not milk is actually good for your child’s teeth. Get the answers you need now.
Milk Contains Calcium & Other Nutrients That Are Great For Your Child’s Teeth
Milk contains a lot of calcium, which is why it’s widely regarded as being good for your child’s teeth. Calcium, along with some other minerals, helps strengthen the outer “shell” of enamel in people of all ages, including kids.
Adequate calcium intake, then, can help strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay, particularly in kids who are 5-7 years old and are the most susceptible to decay.
Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which helps with calcium uptake and is also associated with a lower risk of gum disease (gingivitis). Beyond this, milk also has lots of healthy fats and proteins that help provide proper nutrition for your kids.
So, overall, the answer is “yes.” Milk is great for your child’s body and their teeth. It’s usually recommended to give whole-fat milk to kids who are between 0-2 years of age, and to switch to reduced-fat milk like skim, 1%, or 2% milk when kids are older than 2 years.
Milk Also Contains Some Sugar, So Be Aware Of This When Feeding Your Child
Milk is definitely a good choice for your child, but you should be aware that all milk does contain some natural sugars. If your child drinks a lot of milk and does not brush their teeth, particularly before bed, this can contribute to tooth decay.
To avoid this, make sure your little one rinses their mouth or drinks some water after drinking milk. You also should never put an infant or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk, breastmilk, or formula. This can cause “bottle mouth,” where the sugar in the beverage sits on your child’s teeth overnight and causes serious tooth decay.
Young Kids Should Only Drink Tap Water And Milk – Avoid Other Beverages
Did you know that most dentists recommend that young kids between 0-5 only drink tap water and milk? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently recommended that kids avoid juice, cola, sweetened tea, sports drinks, and other such beverages until they’re at least 5 years old.
And when it comes to water, skip distilled or bottled water. Water from the tap contains fluoride, which works with calcium and other minerals to help repair teeth and prevent cavities in kids.
While we know it may be impractical to completely eliminate other beverages from your child’s diet, try to give them tap water and milk as much as possible!
Need More Tips On Dental Care For Kids? Come And See Dr. Patrick Stuckey Today!
At the office of Patrick Stuckey, DDS, Dr. Stuckey and our dental team can provide you with the information and dental care your little one needs for a healthy mouth, and we’re always accepting new patients in Ruston. Give us a call at (318) 255-8648 or contact us online to learn more and get started!