People have to eat food in order to stay alive – but some foods can have a negative effect on the body. Particularly as teeth are involved in the eating process, it is important to pay attention to the state of them. It is agreed upon by dentists that every person’s teeth should be brushed twice daily, if not more, and that visits to the dentist should be made every six months for check-ups. One of the biggest reasons why people need to schedule regular checks is to make sure that there aren’t any cavities forming.
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure definitely applies to teeth. Once a cavity forms, it can lead to further problems. Not only does it cost money to fix, but the future problems that can arise from cavities could end up costing even more.
While adults have to take personal responsibility for the state of their teeth, parents have the job of helping their children avoid cavities by watching what they allow their kids to eat (along with a daily brushing routine).
The following are some foods that parents should regulate their child’s intake of to ensure good dental health.
Of all the foods out there, by far the worst for a child’s teeth are ones that contain an excess amount of sugar. And unfortunately, these are often the treats that kids go wild for.
Alongside foods containing added sugar there are some that contain natural sugars like dried fruit, milk or honey. These consumables are not as bad for children as other options, but they still can lead to cavities being formed if over-eaten.
Even so, processed foods are much worse for a child’s teeth. These include treats such as biscuits, sweets like chocolate and candy, and sugary breakfast cereals. The manufacturers of these type of foods purposely add sugar to make consumers feel a need to continue eating the products, similar to an addiction.
Sticky foods are basically any item that lingers in the mouth after it has been consumed. Some examples would be caramel, wine gums or even dried fruits. Because these foods tend to leave small particles that stick to teeth after they have been eaten, the sugar that they contain will begin to erode the teeth in the form of plaque and tartar.
The best way to combat this problem is to brush teeth after enjoying one of these snacks followed by rinsing out the mouth thoroughly. This way the excess sugar will be removed and the potential damage is minimized.
Foods like crisps, salted nuts and pastas are delicious, but can be just as bad for teeth as foods comprised entirely of sugar like candy floss.
Limiting foods made with white flour is important. Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates that break down into simple sugars. Starchy foods can also leave behind particles that get stuck between the teeth leading to the buildup of plaque. This in turn can lead to cavities.
Again, the best solution to this is proper brushing, twice per day. Twice-yearly dental check-ups will also ensure that cavities aren’t forming in children’s mouths as a result of their diet.
Foods that crunch may be a great change of pace, but they can lead to damage being done to the teeth.
The worst offender is hard candy, which can cause chipped or broken teeth, especially in children’s delicate first teeth. It can also allow the sugar to get stuck in the cracks leading to plaque building up.
Sodas, Sport Drinks and Acidic Juices
These types of drinks can cause all sorts of problems. Sodas are terrible for the teeth due to the amount of sugar they contain. The same problem is found in sports drinks which many people think are healthier than they actually are. Juices as well as sodas have a high acid content which can erode the enamel on the outside of teeth. This can lead to damage that will eventually become a cavity.
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Because too much of anything can be bad for people, it is important to remember to use moderation when it comes to the foods and drinks that are consumed. With a little planning, parents can make sure that they aren’t allowing products into their children’s diets that can lead to cavities.
Hamptons Dental is a family-friendly practice with dentists that are specially trained to deal with children’s teeth. Make sure your kids’ teeth are perfect from the start by bringing them to see us as soon as they cut their first tooth.