In addition to daily brushing and flossing, it’s important for kids to eat foods that enhance the health of their teeth. Unfortunately, many things that kids love to eat can spoil their smiles. The bacteria that live in our mouths need sugar to grow, and if our diets our unhealthy, these bacteria tend to thrive. When bacteria consume sugar, they create acid, and this acid destroys tooth enamel and creates cavities. Here, then, are the worst five foods for kids’ teeth that you as a parent need to be aware of.
Many parents think of these dehydrated treats as being a healthy snack compared to other, more processed sweets. This is certainly true. However, dried fruits are much higher in sugar than their hydrated counterparts, and these sugars will coat teeth and promote bacteria growth in the mouth. This bacteria can lead to dental issues, so be sure that your kids brush their teeth after eating all variety of dried fruits.
Like soda, sucking on a hard candy coats the teeth with a problematic layer of acid. Unfortunately, these candies remain in our mouths until they’ve disintegrated, allowing their sugars to stick to the teeth for longer periods of time. Try to keep your kids’ hard candy intake to a minimum, and if possible, cut them out completely.
High sugar beverages
If your kids are consuming lots of sugary sodas, sports drinks, or juices, it’s time to rethink your trips to the grocery store. Sodas and sports drinks especially coat the teeth with a layer of acid, which, as you can imagine, can lead to all kinds of dental trouble down the road. It’s best to skip these kinds of drinks altogether.
Although these foods – oranges, tomatoes, lemons – contain nourishing nutrients, their high acid content can lend to tooth decay. Sucking on lemons or limes is also problematic, as prolonged exposure can lead to glossy teeth – a sign that the tooth enamel is wearing down. It’s fine for kinds to consume these fruits, however, as long as they flush them down with lots of water, which will serve to buffer the effects of the acids.
Foods high in starch
These foods – white breads, potato chips, white rice – not only seep into the spaces between teeth but provide sustenance for growing bacteria as well. The bacteria that enjoys consuming starch is the very same living substance that creates plaque. If your kids love to eat macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, or baloney sandwiches on white bread, make sure they brush their teeth and floss regularly.