Most parents know the importance of a proper oral health routine, and regular visits to the pediatric dentist. But, there are some silent tooth killers that parents need to recognize and avoid, to get their children a healthier smile.
Ice can be an awesome accompaniment to any drink, but to the surprise of many parents, it can also do quite a bit of damage to teeth. Beware that your children do not chew on ice – which can crack or chip their teeth. Additionally, continual ice-chewing can destroy tooth enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
Fruit is fantastic for someone’s overall wellness and health, but it can be packaged in a way that damages teeth. Dried fruit is one way fruit can do a lot of damage to teeth. Fruit that has been dried and preserved contains very little water or fiber – two things that help make fruit healthy. Additionally, dried fruit is very sticky, and can stick onto teeth long after the snack has ended. This causes an acid attack on tooth enamel, and can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Again – fruit can be an amazing snack if it served in its original form. Fruit packed in syrup is loaded with extra sugar, and without the bulk of healthy, tooth–cleaning fiber content. It may be packaged to easily enjoy, but avoid fruit that is packed in sugar or preserved in jam. Your child doesn’t need the excessive amount of sugar, and they’d be much better off with an apple, or banana or apricot in its original form.
Beverages are an oft-overlooked source of health issues, and many popular drinks like juice, soda and sports drinks are packed with added sugar. These beverages are easy for children to enjoy because of their sweet taste, but the added sugar can cause a full-on acid attack on tooth enamel, and leave teeth susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
Instead of serving your child sugary beverages, have your child stick to drinking water, which is far healthier for teeth. Water naturally rinses teeth free of harmful food debris, and stimulates saliva production – which is the body’s natural way of removing food debris and keeping teeth clean.
Starches like bread and chips are western diet mainstays, but they can do a lot of damage to teeth. When starch enters the mouth, saliva breaks it down to sugar. After being chewed, starches like bread can become sticky and adhere to tooth surfaces, and lodged in the cracks between teeth. Now, this sticky, sugary substance can cause acid damage to tooth enamel, and leave teeth vulnerable to cavities.
If your child does consume starches, be sure that they thoroughly rinse their mouth out with water after their meal to wash away the sticky, sugary substance that can destroy tooth enamel.
Tooth decay is painful and can affect the overall health of developing mouths, which is why early treatment is the best way to handle cavities. Routine checkups every six months are the best way to stay on top of your child’s oral health.
Schedule an appointment with our office today to check your children’s oral health, and to begin them down the path to a healthier smile.