5 Surprising Foods Children Should Avoid to Prevent Cavities
It’s always a tense moment, waiting for your child to come out of their dental check-up. You cross your fingers, hoping that you’ll hear the joyful cheer of “no cavities!” However, that’s not always the case. Even with a regular brushing and flossing routine, sometimes things slip through the cracks and your child ends up with a cavity or two.
Of course, the best way to prevent cavities is with twice daily brushing and flossing. You can also use a child-safe mouthwash for extra protection. However, if you’re doing everything right by the books and still find that your child has an issue with cavities, consider their diets. Certain foods have been known to cause more cavities than others, and a few of them may even surprise you.
1. Soda and Sugary Drinks
A lot of children love the taste of a soda when out to dinner or a cold juice after school. While these drinks are okay in moderation, they do tend to wreak havoc on teeth when over-consumed. Since many of these drinks are full of sugar, they break down tooth enamel, cause staining and start the production of cavities. If you notice your child has an excessive amount of cavities, or continuously gets cavities, it may be a good idea to switch a juice or soda out with water or low fat milk at meals.
2. Burgers and Fries
This meal may seem like a surprise, but it is a definite culprit for tooth decay. A burger or fries themselves won’t do much damage if you or your child is properly cleaning their teeth, but there is a common factor between the two that can contribute to their oral health. That factor? Ketchup.
Believe it or not, ketchup is chock full of sugar. Just like fruit juice, this condiment contributes to tooth decay, but is less obvious than a sugary drink. If your child loves to soak their burger, fries or other foods in ketchup, you may want to consider limiting how much of it they can consume. It just might save their teeth from some damage and pain.
It’s pretty well known that children love biscuits. As a child, you loved biscuits. Children of the future will also love biscuits. There’s little that can be done to prevent a child from getting their hands on a few biscuits in their lifetime. However, if your child is dealing with multiple or consistent cavities, it may be time to limit the biscuits. With their high sugar content, it’s easy to see by now that they contribute to tooth decay. What’s unique about biscuits though, is their ability to get stuck between your child’s teeth. It’s harder for water or saliva to rinse these crumbs out from the teeth once they’re stuck, therefore making it easier for the biscuit to cause tooth decay.
4. Citrus Fruits
Orange slices and lemon water may seem like great, healthy snacks that your kids love. While citrus fruits can do great things for your child’s body, like provide vitamin C, an excess of citrus can actually do more harm than good when it comes to their teeth. Citrus is highly acidic; this means that consuming citrus can wear down the enamel of your child’s teeth, causing sensitivity and a higher chance of cavities. To combat this, it’s recommended to consume citrus drinks through a straw and limit the amount of citrus fruit consumed.
5. Chewing Gum and Mints
It’s a common misconception across the board that all gum and mints help prevent cavities. While gum and mints of all kinds do stimulate the production of saliva, which helps wash away food debris and re-mineralize teeth, only certain kinds of gum do this without causing harm. If you want to give your child chewing gum or mints after a meal, it is essential to make sure that they are sugar free. Sugary gum and mints will only cause further decay after being consumed.
Limiting what your child eats and when can make a big difference in the number and severity of cavities they have. However, nothing is more important than making sure they are seen by a dentist twice a year for a regular check-up and cleaning. Make sure you’re taking your children to a reputable family dentist, like Mint St Dental, a full service dental practice in Australia that works to provide the best oral care for you and your whole family. Check out our services and make an appointment today at our clinic in Perth.