How Diet Contributes to Children's Tooth Decay
Although tooth decay is common in children and teenagers, it’s one of the most preventable conditions of childhood. Once the hard outer enamel begins breaking down, the tooth is at risk for gum disease and cavities. Dental cleanings and children’s dentistry in Mill Creek, WA will help children avoid cavities, but watching their diet and good dental hygiene make a big difference too.
Here’s how you can help your child avoid irreversible tooth decay and foster a lifetime of good oral health.
Sugar Really Does Contribute to Cavities
As bacteria feed on sugary and starchy substances left behind on your child’s teeth, they start producing acids that soften and erode their tooth enamel.
Each time they take a drink of a soda or other sugary drink, the acids begin damaging the tooth enamel. Even if your son or daughter brushes their teeth twice a day, sugar may stay on their teeth for hours. It’s during this time when the acids do their work.
Eventually, if sugar is a big part of a child’s diet, their tooth enamel may become so thin that the child experiences sensitive teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay.
How to Prevent Cavities in Children
Every parent wants good health for their child. Here’s what you can do to help them avoid cavities:
- Limit sweets. Changing your child’s diet is never easy, especially if they’ve become accustomed to sweet treats and sugary drinks. But it’s worth it!
- Pay attention to hidden sugar. Check the ingredients list for sweetened yogurts, juices, applesauces, energy bars, and cereals to ensure they’re not loaded with sugar.
- Avoid soft drinks. Soft drinks leave a film on teeth that bacteria feast on. Drink soda through a straw to limit exposure and drink it promptly.
- Brush and floss well at home. Make dental hygiene a part of their day right from the start.
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth or want to schedule a dental check-up, learn more about children’s dentistry in your Mill Creek, WA dental office. Call us today!