Tooth decay is one of the biggest dental problems that pop up with children’s teeth. Even though their primary teeth are temporary, it’s still important to keep them healthy. Dr. Allie Miller, a dentist in Winter Park, FL, highlights some foods to avoid and manage for your child’s oral health.
Both Hard and Chewy Candy
The amount of sugar in candy definitely contributes to tooth decay. With chewy candy, it’s easy to get stuck in hard to reach places in between teeth. Hard candy releases sugar into the mouth the entire time it dissolves. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on that sugar and emit an acidic byproduct that leads to dental cavities.
Hard candy can also mean a trip to our office for emergency dentistry. If your child tries to bite down on hard candy at the wrong angle or before it’s dissolved enough, it can cause the tooth to break or crack. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a cosmetic issue that’s easily fixed. But it can also turn into something that needs attention immediately.
Fruit is usually a healthy way to cure a sweet tooth craving. But dried fruit is almost like chewy candy itself. The consistency is usually that of chewy, sticky candy and it stays in the space between teeth. Through the drying process, the fruit becomes more concentrated with sugar and loses some of the nutrients. Encourage them to eat fresh fruit instead.
However, even some fresh fruit should be eaten mainly in moderation. Citrus fruits are very acidic and the acid eats through the tooth enamel. There is too much of a good thing when it comes to citrus. After they consume things like orange juice, lemonade, or grapefruit, have them wash it down with a glass of water.
Chips and Crackers
Salty snacks may not seem like an issue when it comes to dental health. But starchy foods break down into sugars as you’re eating and digesting them. Small chip crumbs break off and get stuck between teeth while crackers form a paste that lays in the crevices of molars. When they’re having salty snacks, make sure they drink water with them.
Coffee isn’t usually something you have to worry about with kids. They don’t like the taste. Dark sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, though, those kids love. These have multiple problems, because they’re loaded with sugar, acid, and can also stain teeth. Make sure this is considered a special treat and that they’re supplemented with water.
Get a Checkup From Your Winter Park, Florida Dentist
Make sure your child’s oral health isn’t suffering from their diet. Call us or schedule an appointment online.