Kids Health

Teeth & Tummies! 5 Foods that are Great for Tooth & Gut Health

April 6th, 2018

A mouth-healthy diet can go a long way in helping your entire family improve their oral health, but can also better your general health as well. Here are 5 foods that your teeth – and stomach – will love. 

1 - Probiotic Yogurt 

Probiotic yogurt is an absolute must-have for those seeking mouth & gut health. Yogurt contains calcium, which builds strong tooth enamel, and casein, a protein that helps prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and causing plaque buildup. Probiotic yogurt is also packed with healthy enzymes that improve digestion, and probiotics that help remove bad gut bacteria that can lead to inflammation and cramping.

2 - Kale 

Kale, and other vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, are all fantastic for teeth and promoting stomach health. Kale is high in water and fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. Plus, fiber naturally cleans teeth of food debris, thereby helping to prevent plaque buildup. Kale also contains glucosinolates, which helps fight inflammation and aids in regular food digestion. 

3 - Mangos 

Mangos help keep healthy gut bacteria alive, which promotes regular and healthy digestion. They are also packed with vitamin C, which aids the development and maintenance of healthy gums. When shopping, buy whole mangos, rather than mangos stored in preservatives that are packed in sugar.  

4 - Dark Chocolate 

Healthy food can also be delicious, just look at dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has some amazing benefits for teeth. It contains flavonoids, which help eliminate bad oral bacteria that fuels cavities and tooth decay. Dark chocolate helps gut health by feeding healthy gut bacteria responsible for breaking down and digesting food.  

 Almond Butter 

Whole, raw almonds can be tough on teeth, but almond butter can be amazing for teeth and digestive health. Almond butter is packed with calcium, which helps build strong teeth, healthy gums, and strong tooth enamel. Almond butter also contains a good amount of healthy dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion. By eating almond butter instead of almonds, you can still take advantage of their nutritional benefits without the risk of cracking your teeth. When shopping for almond butter, buy a jar that is minimally processed and contains the most amount of fiber. 

Try a Mouth-Healthy Diet 

When shopping for mouth-healthy food, try to get a lot of whole fruits and vegetables and incorporate plenty of healthy fiber. Try to avoid fruit packed in sugary syrup, as well as starchy carbohydrates that can stick to teeth and fuel unhealthy plaque buildup.

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?

February 22nd, 2018

Adequate sleep is vital to leading a healthy life – regardless of age. For parents, it can be tough to know how much sleep your child should get every night. Here’s a quick guide outlining the amount of sleep your child needs for each stage of their development.  

Newborns (0 – 3 months): 10 – 18 hours

New parents understand one truth: sleep is hard to come by with a newborn baby. That’s because newborns need a total of 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day on an irregular schedule. Newborns will fuss, cry or rub their eyes when they need to sleep, so parent should pay attention to their gestures to understand when to put them to bed.

Infants (4 – 11 months): 10 – 18 hours

By the infant stage, babies are usually capable of sleeping through the night for 9 – 12 hours. In addition, most infants will take 2 – 4 naps per day, which can last between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Parents should put their infants to bed when they become sleepy, rather than waiting for them to fall asleep. This helps them to become self-soothers, and teaches them to fall asleep on their own.

Toddlers (1 – 2 years): 9 – 16 hours

Around 18 months, your toddler will begin needing less frequent naps, and may only take one nap, for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Many toddlers resist going to bed at bedtime, and nighttime awakening. This is incredibly common, and parents can help their toddlers sleep through the night by setting a consistent bedtime schedule.

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years): 8 – 14 hours

Preschoolers typically sleep between 11 – 13 hours per night, and only require one nap per day. As with toddlers, preschoolers can experience difficulty sleeping through the night, and some resist bedtime. Parents can help children get past this with a security item like a blanket or teddy bear, which can comfort children through the night.

Children (6 – 13 years): 8 – 12 hours

As a child’s schedule increases with school and social activities, their need for a good night’s rest increases too. Typically, children don’t need naps, but do need to get a solid 8 – 12 hours of sleep per night.  Try limiting TV and digital entertainment before bed, which can make it more difficult for a child to fall asleep.

Teens (14 – 17 years): 7 – 11 hours

By this point, your teen should be able to sleep comfortably throughout the night, and may only need one nap per day, between 20 – 40 minutes. In fact, your child may come to value their sleep and need no instruction to go to bed. Try to emphasize the importance of adequate sleep with your child, and establish a bedtime routine that takes TV’s and computers out of their bedroom, and avoid caffeinated beverages at dinner so that they don’t have extra energy before bed.

Does Your Child Snore or Miss Sleep?

If your child has difficulty sleeping through the night, or snores in their sleep, then they may have sleep apnea. Poor and inadequate sleep can lead to developmental problems, mood swings, and impact your child’s ability to learn. Talk to us about your child’s sleep routine, and pay attention to your child’s nightly routine to see if there are any routines that may be impeding their ability to sleep.