You may be shocked when your dentist tells you that your child has tooth decay.
Sugar is the major culprit in causing tooth decay and cavities in children. Plaque and bacteria on teeth love sugars and convert them into acid that weakens the surface of the teeth.
You may watch your child’s diet to limit sugary foods and drinks, but did you know that how long and how often the teeth are exposed to sugary foods and drinks are just as important as your child’s diet?
When a child sips on a sweet drink or fruit juice for hours, the teeth are exposed to sugar all that time. This increases the risk of tooth decay. Putting a young one to bed with a bottle of milk or formula also subjects teeth to sugars for long periods as these liquids rest in the mouth overnight.
Here are our top tips to help minimize the duration of sugar exposure for your child’s teeth:
- Limit added sugars when snacking. Include protein like yogurt, bean dip and peanut butter.
- See that your child finishes sugary drinks and foods right away.
- Offer water only in sippy cups. If you give your child any beverage other than water, serve it in a glass or single-serving container and limit consumption time.
- Never put a baby to bed with a bottle unless it contains water. Milk and baby formula contain sugars that can cause tooth decay.
- Restrict the amount of candy consumed. Harder candies or those that are sticky can linger for quite a long time in the mouth and expose the teeth to sugar all that time. Encourage your child to brush the teeth after candy and all other snacks.
- Brush after meals and snacks and floss every day to reduce the risk of cavities.
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.