Many parents are unaware of the impact that certain foods can have on their child's oral health. Some foods can erode tooth enamel, while others can contribute to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Here are some foods that can damage your child's oral health.
Mouth bacteria feed on sugars. When your child eats foods high in sugar or carbohydrates, like starchy crackers or bread, the bacteria convert carbs to acids that attack the enamel on teeth. These attacks cause tooth decay. Tooth decay can cause painful sensitivities in the mouth, as well as a heightened chance of developing gum disease – which can lead to tooth loss.
In addition to causing cavities, sugary foods, and drinks also increase plaque buildup. Plaque builds up and can harden into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing alone. The only way to remove it is with a professional cleaning by your dentist. Regularly consuming sugary foods can increase your child's chances of needing a professional cleaning every six months.
If your child consumes a lot of sugary foods and beverages, you should monitor their dental health closely and schedule routine appointments with your dentist twice a year. Early detection of Issues can prevent more serious problems in the future.
Hard Candy and Chewing Gum
There are certain candies that are not only bad for your teeth in general but specifically damaging to children's developing teeth. These candies include anything that has a hard texture, like lollipops, caramel sticks, or jawbreakers. Biting down on these kinds of candies can cause your child's teeth to chip and even crack. Additionally, the sticky residue left behind by these types of treats is a magnet for cavity-causing bacteria.
All of the above-mentioned candies are also very acidic, which is a leading cause of dental erosion. When your child consumes something with acid content in it, his or her tooth enamel will be weakened by constant exposure. This will lead to cavities and other issues.
If your child is consuming any of the above kinds of candies on a regular basis, it is highly recommended that you speak with your pediatric dentist about other alternatives. Sugarless gum is a good way to keep a child's mouth happy and healthy in between meals and chewing sessions.
Too much of any kind of sugar is bad for a child's dental health, but soft drinks may be one of the worst things you can give them to drink. Sodas and other carbonated drinks contain high amounts of acid and sugar, which can wear away your child's teeth. Even diet soda isn't good for them because it contains more acids than regular soda. If you do allow your children to have an occasional soft drink, make sure they use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush their teeth afterward. This will help protect their teeth from the harmful effects of the high acidity in soda.
Coffee and Tea
If you or your child love coffee and black tea, avoid drinking them more than twice a day because it could be staining your teeth or contributing to bad breath. Try to dilute your drinks with water, and don't add sugar or other sweeteners to the drink. After serving your kids their beverages, make sure they rinse their mouths with water to prevent tooth decay.
Chaffee Pediatric Dentistry provides solutions for all your child's dental problems. We are located at 1239 East McKellips Rd #107, Mesa, AZ 85203. You can reach us at 480.739.2993.