When it comes to protecting the health of your child’s teeth, you probably know that teaching your child a healthy oral health care routine consists of brush his or her teeth twice a day, and instructing them on how to properly brush and floss is essential. While some parents are lucky enough to have this time with their child, they might not have enough time to also probably monitor what their kids eat on a daily basis.
The types of foods your child eats regularly can increase your child’s risk for cracking or chipping their teeth and experiencing cavities. Our dentist in Clermont wants to help you prevent cavities and tooth damage by informing parents of some of the worst foods for their kids.
1. Jawbreakers and Hard Candy
Jawbreakers and hard candy, like suckers, contain lots of sugar that can coat your child’s teeth. This can increase their risk of experiencing cavities and contribute to the development of gum disease. Not to mention, if your child tries to bite the hard candy between their teeth, they could crack or chip a tooth, resulting in the need to seek emergency dental treatment. Our dentist in Clermont recommends avoiding all hard candies to prevent chips or cracks.
2. Sugary Drinks and Added-Sugar Fruit Juices
Sodas, flavored waters, and fruit juices, especially with added sugar, can contribute to the development of cavities in baby teeth and adult teeth. This is because every time you give your child a drink filled with sugar, the sugar coats your child’s teeth and results in a bacteria explosion, then the acid attacks the enamel. If this occurs often enough, your child could develop a cavity and even tooth pain. Our Clermont dentist recommends avoiding regular sodas and sweetened drinks that contain no nutritional value. Instead, parents can opt for natural fruit juices with no added sugar to help limit sugar consumption.
3. Caramels and Chewy Candy
Chewy candy, like caramels, gummy worms, and gummy bears contain lots of sugar. The chewiness can result in bits of the candies sticking to your child’s teeth. When this happens, the bacteria creates a film over your teeth, which can create tiny holes and breakdown the enamel. While saliva helps replenish the nutrients in the enamel and fill these micro-cavities, frequent, prolonged acid attacks can result in larger holes and cavities that need to be filled by our dentist.
4. Foods and Snacks Containing Lots of Citrus
Oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes all contain lots of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining the health of your child’s immune system. However, fruits and citrus snacks contain lots of acid, which can damage the enamel on your child’s teeth. While completely avoiding these foods isn’t recommended due to the high nutrient value, our local dentist in Clermont recommends only giving your child fresh citrus fruits a few times a week and avoiding all processed citrus snacks and candies.
5. Chewable Vitamins
As a parent, you want your child to be as healthy as possible. This may mean to choose to give your child a chewable daily vitamin. Unfortunately, because these vitamins are chewed, fragments can get on the teeth and stick there. This is especially true if you give your child gummy vitamins, which can contain lots of sugar, as well as citric acid. If you give your child chewable vitamins, try to avoid gummy vitamins and make sure your child drinks a full glass of water, which can help rinse away the remaining vitamin particles.
6. Foods That Contain Starch or Simple Carbohydrates
When you think of bread, pasta, cake, potato chips, and pretzels, you probably think of carbohydrates, which are needed for fast energy. Unfortunately, simple carbohydrates break down into sugar. When these foods are chewed and mixed with saliva, they form a thin film that coats your child’s teeth. This may be difficult for your child to completely remove from brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash alone. For this reason, it’s important to focus on giving your child fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting pasta and bread consumption, as well as starchy snacks.