The sugar in our children’s diet is what causes their teeth to decay. The mouth is full of healthy natural bacteria, but when sugar enters into the mix it works with that bacteria to cause harmful acids. It can take less than twenty minutes for these acids to start to erode tooth enamel. The hard enamel is there to protect the tooth, so that when the enamel is damaged the softer tissue underneath will become vulnerable resulting in the formation of cavities and eventual weakness of the gums and jaw bone.
In addition to threatening our oral health, sugar is a contributor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease so it is no wonder that pediatric dentists encourage parents to start to reduce their children’s sugar intake at an early age. Sugary foods and drinks taste so good that children have a hard time resisting them and that is why parental control is so important. Your pediatric dentist will realize that it’s hard to say no to sweets all the time, so he may suggest that you limit them by setting aside certain times for “treats,” such as at birthday parties or on holidays like halloween.
There are several things that parents can do to keep their children from eating too much sugar. If it’s not there, they won’t eat it – clean out the refrigerator and the pantry and replace the junk food with healthier but still tasty snacks. The sooner you get rid of the temptation, the better.
The labels on packaging can help. Before you buy, check for sugar content and pay attention to how much sugar there is in a single serving. You may be surprised to know that some foods that you may have considered healthy choices really aren’t.
“Do as I say, not as I do,” is an old saying that really never held water. Children look up to their parents and like to imitate their actions. Setting a good example by preparing and eating nutritious foods will help lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
Call 303-367-1502 and set up an appointment with Dr. Lewis at Dentist For Kidz in Aurora.