You’ve been keen to teach your child all the basics of healthy dental habits: brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. However, that’s not enough when it comes to maintaining your child’s oral health. The secret might be in your child’s eating habits. The American Dental Association notes that food has a huge impact on the overall health of your child’s teeth. Kids are prone to developing cavities and other dental problems due to their daily diet.
As a parent, it’s easy to assume that the diet you’re giving your child is right, yet the small snacks and treats you keep giving your child could be the foundation of bigger dental problems in the future. Read more to understand foods that cause cavities and what you can do to embrace a healthier diet and ensure good oral health for your child for years to come.
Common Foods That Cause Tooth Decay and Cavities
Eating lots of sugar is bad for oral health, and candies are full of it, making them one of the most common foods that are bad for your teeth. They are chewy, sugary and ultimately damaging to your kid’s teeth. If you’re regularly treating your child with sweet candies, you’re setting them on the wrong path to achieving good dental health. Candies easily get stuck in crevices in the teeth or even between the teeth.
Extra chewy candies like caramel and taffy stick to the teeth even longer, which eventually dissolves tooth enamel leading to decay.
Starchy snacks like chips, crackers, cookies, and other starches like bread and pasta are other common types of foods that cause cavities in kids. These starches often break down into simple sugars that stick around the teeth for a long time, acting as a surface for bad bacteria growth that can eventually lead to tooth decay.
While eating some starch as part of your daily carbohydrate intake is recommended, it’s important to opt for whole wheat options instead of white flour starches. While brushing and flossing their teeth may get rid of some sticky starches, sometimes it’s not always effective. To get rid of those extra bits of snacks, encourage your kid to swish cool water in their mouth at least half an hour after eating starchy snacks.
Citrus Fruits and Sugary Juices
Citrus fruits are a great source of vital nutrients like Vitamin C, and they’re good for your kid’s health. However, fruits like lemon, oranges, and grapefruits, that are highly acidic can erode your child’s tooth enamel over a long period of time. Sugary drinks, juices, and carbonated drinks like sodas that contain high-sugar levels can also cause tooth cavities if the right dental health routine is not followed. While eating fruits is healthy and highly recommended, encourage your child to drink lots of water and low-fat milk over high-sugar juices.
When it comes to understanding foods that cause cavities in kids, you can’t ignore the day-to-day sweet treats that kids are used to on weekends, when visiting shopping malls, during holidays, when visiting relatives, or on their birthdays. Treats like ice creams, pie, cake, sweetened cereals, and toaster pastries may be a lesser evil than a majority of sweet candy issues, but they could cause tooth cavities down the line. To protect your child’s teeth, you can consider dental sealants that will help prevent food from sticking in tooth crevices.
Best Foods for Healthy Teeth
Understanding the types of foods that are bad for your child’s teeth is not the end of the battle against tooth cavities in young kids. It’s important to also know the types of foods that are considered healthy for your kid’s oral health. These include fiber-rich and crunchy fruits like apples that help scrub away any plaque that forms on the teeth, drinking water with fluoride, which promotes the healthy development of your kid’s teeth, eggs as an excellent source of calcium, and other foods like nuts and seeds, celery and carrots, milk, cheese, low-sugar yogurt, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables.
Considering that over half of kids over the age of six have some form of tooth decay, it’s important to see why embracing healthy eating and good oral hygiene habits are critical to avoiding dental development issues from an early age. When tooth cavities are left untreated, they can lead to infection, pain and even tooth loss. If your child has been eating foods that cause cavities and end ups getting tooth decay, the good news is that modern dentistry has made it possible to fill cavities using tooth-colored fillings.
Health Dental Habits to Continue as Your Child Grows
Dental health should start at a tender age, with the eruption of your child’s first tooth. As your child continues to grow, it’s important to continue teaching them about healthy dental habits to prevent dental problems in the future. These include regular dental visits, flossing teeth once a day, brushing teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and eating healthy.
Trust Your Child’s Dental Health to Toothfairy Pediatric Dental
At Toothfairy Pediatric Dental, we teach you and your child about the importance of maintaining overall healthy teeth and gums. Replace the bad foods that cause cavities from your child’s diet with tooth-friendly options for healthy white teeth. We work closely with you to ensure your child stays happy and maintains a beautiful smile. Regular dental appointments are highly recommended to ensure your child maintains good dental health.
Want to learn more? Make an appointment with a professional pediatric dentist in Reno at Toothfairy Pediatric Dental today!