Nutritional Counseling Through Pediatric Dentistry in Old Bridge
Many individuals may be wondering what role a pediatric dentist plays in nutritional counseling… The truth is pediatric dentists are among the first-line medical practitioners to recognize what exactly is going on inside the body during the development stages. For instance, the mouth is the entry way connecting oral health throughout the rest of the body. Dental care should not be limited by scope of practice to only the mouth, since dentists can become aware of so much more given the clear relationship between dietary factors and the association to conditions like obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes and more. It is a pediatric dentist who first becomes aware of these potential issues, offering insight and solutions which can lead to optimal overall health.
Eating Well for a Healthy Mouth: Oral Health & Nutrition
Teeth are essential for biting and chewing food. Therefore, one’s diet is directly correlated and contributes to their physical growth and oral health. Vitamins and water are key elements to building strong teeth which in turn are used as tools in the digestive process. Proper diet and nutrition in addition to avoiding sugary drinks and foods which do not contain substantial nutrients are essential to maintaining overall health. Pediatric dentists should be paying close attention to their patient’s nutritional status, since oral health and eating are so closely linked.
KidZdent understands the importance of this concept which is why we provide nutritional counseling as an intricate part of a patient’s treatment plan. To help patients improve their diet without taking on the role of a dietitian, pediatric dentists, like all other health professionals, must possess basic nutritional knowledge and be familiar with the physiological processes at play, as well as the effects of nutrition on the body. Our dentists are proficient in assessing and guiding patients from as early as 12 months old through adulthood.
Typically the effects of one’s diet are of the most significant importance during the stage of teeth formation. Most pediatric dentists or dentists suggest some nutritional counseling during the time of pregnancy to ensure their diet includes the proteins, vitamins, calcium and phosphorus needed for the development of healthy tooth buds. This will initiate or supplement the involvement of other health professionals following the pregnancy.
Many pediatric dentists will also encourage breastfeeding as the ideal means of meeting the infant’s nutritional requirements through natural development while avoiding the risk of premature decay. KidZdent will also be able to detect any concerns with Lip or Tongue Ties if the infant has any trouble latching on. New moms who choose to bottle feed can be provided with additional advice for preventive care and developmental evaluation.
Nutritional instruction should continue after the teeth appear in order to promote good eating habits and the health and wellness of the entire body. Helping parents to choose the best foods for their children and to share with them the knowledge they need to maintain dental health and avoid the build-up of plaque can have significant benefits. If they become accustomed to healthy eating habits right from the start, children will be less likely to lose their baby teeth prematurely and less susceptible to caries in adolescence.
What Everyone Should Expect Through Nutritional Counseling
When a patient visits a dentist for the first time, a nutritional analysis will capture a broader idea of the patient’s oral health and help in determining the likelihood of successful treatment (e.g., the capacity of tissues to regenerate, support a prosthesis or fight an infection). Such an investigation may also reveal eating habits that appear to be damaging or for other reasons, harmful to the patient’s general health (like, undernourishment, too much fat or not enough fiber, a soft diet or an overconsumption of prepared foods with little nutritional value). Even if a dentist cannot provide full nutritional counseling, KidZdent will advise patients of any concerns, offer advice and refer them to the appropriate health professionals.
Our successful nutritional guidance program will help patients to achieve greater health benefits and lifelong smiles.
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