Caring for your children’s teeth is one of the most important hygiene lessons you will teach kids, but with little ones, it can be pretty tough to do. Some of the habits we start early on are pretty difficult to break, especially if those habits include foods that are detrimental to teeth and oral hygiene. Cavities form much more easily than we realize, but can also be prevented pretty easily by avoiding certain foods. If you want to protect your child’s teeth and reduce their risk of expensive cavities, learn more about the risks and causes of cavities, and keep these culprits away from your diet.
How Do Cavities Develop?
Teeth are made up of different layers. The first layer of defense is the enamel. When a tooth is frequently exposed to acid, via sugary foods and starches, the enamel begins to wear away and lose minerals, and a white spot may appear. An Emergency dental clinic says this spot is the earliest sign of decay. If the decay is not stopped or reversed at this point, tooth decay will continue, and more minerals will be lost. Over time, the enamel can even be destroyed and a cavity formed.
What Are the Worst Foods for Causing Cavities?
While leaving just about any food on or in the teeth for an extended period of time can lead to tooth damage and decay, some foods are worse for your teeth than others. And, it may just so happen that the worst foods are often some of your kid’s favorites. If you want to help your kids avoid cavities, then allow a few of these foods only in moderation.
Juice is a childhood favorite for most kids. However, most juice is filled with sugar, even in the “no sugar added” varieties. This added sugar becomes a real problem when your little one is constantly latched onto a sippy cup. The sugar and bacteria in your child’s mouth create the perfect atmosphere for tooth decay. A Colorado Springs tooth whitening clinic also warns against staining that juice can do. Limit juice intake to meal times and dilute it with water.
White foods, including white rice, white bread, and plain pasta are easy for many little ones to eat, and may even be their favorites. But these foods quickly break down into simple sugars, which create a breeding ground for tooth decay. Avoid these white foods and opt for wholegrain versions instead.
Crackers and Carbs
Crackers and carbs are easy snacks for toddlers and kids of all ages, but again these foods quickly break down into sugar. Also, they are often sticky and get into the grooves of the teeth easily. Avoid these carb-heavy snacks and opt for snacks that pair whole-grain treats with alternatives like a slice of cheese.
Fruit Snacks and Dried Fruits
We often consider fruit snacks and dried fruits a healthy alternative when it comes to snacking, but the major problems with these foods is they are a stickier food that often cling to teeth and have excess sugar in them. Instead of the dried versions, stick to fresh fruits and your child’s pearly whites will be in less danger.
It can be difficult to get kids to eat a wider variety of foods, but the health of their teeth really does depend on it. So, before your child reaches for a snack, help them evaluate it, and suggest a teeth-healthy alternative.
“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”