If you were to ask a pediatric dentist to name the foods or drinks that he considers to be most damaging to your child’s tooth enamel what would you expect to top the list? The fact is that pediatric dentists warn parents about the risk posed by any sticky sweet or starchy foods that can get stuck between the teeth. The best example might be caramel candy or popcorn, but “gummy” vitamins are also included on the list of things to watch out for. The other leading contenders are soda pop, fruit juice and most energy drinks.
Tooth decay happens when the protective shield of enamel is invaded and bacteria is allowed to get into the more sensitive layers of the teeth that lie beneath it. Acid is what deteriorates tooth enamel and it is formed when the “bad” bacteria in your child’s mouth mixes with one of those sugary or starchy foods that he eats.
Dentists realize that it is practically impossible for parents to keep their children away from the foods and drinks that are so bad for their teeth. The secret is to find ways to counteract the bad with the good by substituting unhealthy foods with healthy ones that children will want to eat. Yogurt for instance, is an excellent alternative. It comes in so many flavors and with various toppings that any child can easily find a favorite. Cheese is another healthy choice. It is rich in the calcium that contributes to strengthening young bones and teeth.
The next time your child asks if he can have a piece of chewing gum surprise him and say “yes” with the stipulation that it be the sugarless kind, of course. Anything that stimulates the salivary glands is good for the teeth. Saliva helps to wash away food particles and prevent harmful plaque. Crisp fruits and vegetables make for nutritious snacks and crunching on them produces more saliva.
Is it time to make an appointment for your child to see a pediatric dentist? Call Dentist 4 Kidz in Aurora @ 303-367-1502 today.