Palos Pediatric Dentistry

3 Ways Your Child's Diet Affects Their Oral Health

January 26, 2017
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Posted By: Dr. Richard Facko
Kids Dentist Oak Lawn IL

#1 Sugar Is Best When It's Fresh from Nature

Kids love a sweet treat, but their taste buds become desensitized to the natural sweetness of fruit if they eat too much processed sugar. If you have ever given up sugar for any length of time, you know that blueberries taste sweeter than ever and a strawberry tastes like dessert.

Fruit also provides nutritional value such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. When eaten whole, in their non-processed form (as opposed to applesauce or 
fruit rolls), fruit is not particularly harmful to teeth as long as you have a good home care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and using a fluoride toothpaste.

#2 Avoiding Sticky, Chewy Sweets Is Best

Anything that is sticky or chewy can spend more time on your child’s teeth than is ideal. Sugary snacks like caramels, fruit rolls or strips, jellybeans, and gummy bears take a long time to dissolve. The sustained presence of sugar in the deep grooves of your child’s teeth provides fuel for the bacteria that cause decay.

Opt for something healthier that will not collect for hours on end or do a thorough job of brushing with a fluoride toothpaste to combat the effects of sticky foods. 

This concept extends to starchy food, too. Things like cookies, crackers, and even soft bread create a similar problem since carbohydrates begin digesting in the mouth by converting to sugar.

#3 The Hidden Danger of Juices and Sugary Drinks

A common thought is that juice provides kids with a healthy alternative to soda, but recent research shows that juice or juice-like drinks actually cause serious damage when it comes to oral health. Because many fruit juices are both high in sugar and acidity, it creates a double whammy when it comes to your child’s enamel.

Teaching your child to stick with water is good for their teeth and better for their overall health. Juices contain a high number of calories that can contribute to weight issues, as well.

If you and your family live in the Oak Lawn area and want a kid’s dentist who makes dentistry a fun, positive, and educational experience, give us a call! We will partner with you to protect your child's smile.

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