The Right Food for Your Smile

What kids eat can affect all areas of their health, including their teeth. Consider these nutritious snack ideas.

Whether you’re picnicking, vacationing or just having a lunch on the go, packing healthy foods and snacks for your family over the summer can be tricky—but what they eat can affect all areas of their health, including their teeth. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Consider packing these nutritious items to fuel your family each day:

Dairy products: Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are excellent picks with lots of calcium. Read the labels as some products aimed at kids are high in fat and sugar.

Protein: Lean roast beef, turkey, chicken and cheese are good sandwich options. Use whole grain bread, and try adding some lettuce and tomato.

Fresh fruits and vegetables: Grapes, apple chunks, orange sections, celery and baby carrots are great additions to a lunchbox.

Beverages: Water is a great choice for lunch, as is low-fat milk. Avoid soda pop and juice drinks, as they contain lots of sugar and can be high in calories.

A healthy mouth is more than just a nice smile. It helps you to eat, drink and talk. And since oral health and overall health are connected, having a healthy smile can help keep the rest of your body healthy, too.

Evidence of an eating disorder?

Eating disorders can damage your oral health and dentists and dental hygienists are on the frontline of spotting these disorders because changes in the mouth are often the first physical signs of an eating disorder. Signs may include:

  • Gum disease: Gums bleed easily due to malnutrition
  • Increased cavities: People use candy and sweetened drinks for energy and to stop feeling hungry
  • Brittle or weak teeth: Obvious changes occur in the color, shape and length of teeth
  • Loss of dental enamel: Stomach acid from self-induced vomiting eats away at tooth surfaces

Brought to you by Delta Dental of Michigan. For more information, visit


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