Children love their sweets, but many choices can wreak havoc on their teeth.
Sugary snacks like candy, cake and cookies can cause tooth decay. Sweet foods and snacks can contain many different kinds of sugar including sucrose, which is table sugar, and corn sweeteners or fructose.
How Sugar Damages the Teeth
Bacteria that live in your mouth all the time can form sticky plaque on the surface of the teeth. These bacteria love sugar and turn it into acids. If not cleaned off right away, the acids can dissolve the hard enamel covering the teeth and create cavities.
All sweet snacks can harm the teeth but some are worse than others. Chewy or gooey sweets like raisins and gummy treats stick to the surface of the teeth longer, giving the acids a better chance of starting tooth decay.
Choose Snacks Wisely for Healthy Teeth
Instead of offering children sugary snacks, stock your kitchen with these tasty and filling foods that don’t have a lot of sugar or fat:
- Fresh fruits and raw vegetables including oranges, melons, pineapple, pears, celery, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, canned fruit in natural juices and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices.
- Whole-grains like bread, bagels, unsweetened cereals, unbuttered popcorn, low-salt pretzels and plain crackers.
- Low fat milk and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.
- Meat, nuts and seeds.
Brushing is Important After Meals and Snacks!
Brushing teeth to remove food particles is just as important after snacks as it is after meals. Even healthy snacks can contribute to tooth decay if the food is left on the teeth long enough.
February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month theme is “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” Good oral care is important for children and adults. Everyone can benefit from choosing healthy foods to eat and brushing twice a day to keep smiles bright!
Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.