2 OUT OF EVERY 5 KIDS have at least one cavity by the time they finish elementary school, and the main reason is sugar.
Bacteria Love Sugar As Much As We Do
Harmful bacteria living on the surfaces of our teeth love eating the leftover sugar after we enjoy a sweet treat or drink. Then they excrete acid onto our teeth as a waste product, increasing our risk of tooth decay. So what can parents do for their kids’ teeth? A big improvement parents can make is to swap out sugary snacks for options like cheese or sliced fruits and veggies, which are also much healthier overall.
This time of year, it can be hard to avoid sugar, but this hygienist has some tips:
Sugar Is Hiding in Your Child’s Favorite Drinks Too
When it comes to sugary drinks, juice and soda are full of sugar and highly acidic, and even milk contains sugars. These drinks are most dangerous to a child’s teeth when sipped over the course of hours, as this acts like a continuous acid bath, preventing their saliva from washing away residue and neutralizing the pH of their mouths. We urge parents to restrict access to drinks other than water except during meals.
Be an Example of Good Dental Hygiene
Finally, parents should model good dental hygiene habits and schedule regular dental visits for their kids. Limiting sugar intake can’t make up for a lack of daily brushing and flossing!
The Dentist Is a Great Resource
All the things parents can do at home to encourage great dental health are very important, but don’t forget that you’re not in this fight alone! The dentist can help. If you have concerns about your or your child’s teeth or gums, schedule an appointment. We can identify any problems and determine the best next steps to take. And regular preventative appointments are important too!