There are times you look back and wish you knew then, what you know now. If only you had cut down on the candies, maybe you wouldn’t have all those cavities or pain in your teeth.
Well, the good news is that you can help your kids avoid those same mistakes that you made. Regular brushing and flossing of teeth are good. It’s a very healthy habit to teach your kids, but it is not enough. Your child’s oral health also depends a lot on what they eat and drink.
Certain foods can cause plaque which damages the teeth. Also, some drinks contain lots of sugar and acids, which can expose the teeth to cavities. Cavities are the most common chronic disease faced by people aged 6 to 19. They cause complications like pain, chewing problems, and tooth abscesses. So, then what are these foods and drinks that can pose a huge threat to your child’s oral health?
1. Carbonated soft drinks
The acid and sugar found in soda or other carbonated drinks in combination cause damage to your child’s teeth. These drinks coat the teeth in acid, which can damage the enamel. Sugar-free sodas and non-carbonated sports drinks are also a threat because they contain sugar and acidic additives, respectively.
What you can do: Let them rinse their mouth with water after drinking. It helps to eliminate excess sugar that sticks to their teeth. They may also use straw for drinking. This prevents direct contact of the sugar and acid with the teeth.
2. Dried fruits
These are usually sticky. They get stuck and cling in their teeth and crevices, and become a feast for bacteria. This can cause tooth decay.
What you can do: Let them brush and floss their teeth after eating dried fruits, and rinse effectively. You can also go for fresh fruits instead which are easier to remove from the teeth.
3. Orange juice
The acid content can erode enamel, making the teeth more vulnerable to decay. They also contain high levels of sugar, which can cause damage to your child’s teeth.
What you can do: Don’t serve them juice everyday. When you do, dilute it water. You can go for water or milk instead.
4. Chewy/sour candies
They contain different kinds of acid that are not friendly to your kid’s teeth. Also, because they are chewy, they stick to their teeth for a longer time. This causes gradual dissolving of enamel and eventual decay.
What to do: Make sure they brush and floss after eating those.
When they chew bread, the enzymes in their saliva break the carbs down to simple sugars. This becomes a major threat to their teeth. Also, after chewing, the bread becomes paste-like and gummy. It then sticks to the crevices between your child’s teeth. This can cause cavities.
What you can do: Try to reduce your child’s consumption of food made from white flour. Instead, go for carbs from whole grain, they contain fewer added sugars.
6. Potato chips
Like bread, they contain starch, which becomes sugar after they’re chewed. They can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plague.
What to do: Always brush and floss after eating chips, it helps to remove the trapped particles.
Certain foods and drinks make your child susceptible to tooth related problems. They will crave those foods and beverages and may even cry to get them at will. They don’t understand the implications, but you do. It is imperative that you do all you can to cut out the harmful foods from your child’s diet or at least in moderation. The idea is to keep their teeth safe and healthy.