Pediatric Dentists’ share worst foods for kids when it comes to dental care
Apart from practicing good oral hygiene habits (regular brushing and flossing) and paying regular visits to your child’s Pediatric Dentist, one critical aspect of dental care that some parents may overlook is diet and nutrition.
Aside from knowing which foods (and drinks) are beneficial to your child’s overall and dental health, you should also be aware of foods that can diminish the health of their teeth and gums. You might not think, for example, that something as simple as crackers or sodas can wreak havoc on your kid’s dental health, but they can.
Here’s a brief list of the worst foods for kids’ teeth that you may want to banish (or keep to a minimum) from your child’s diet.
Avoid sticky sweets
Sweet and sticky treats like taffy and caramel may seem harmless, but these can damage the teeth in more ways than one. For one, these foods are full of sugar which can damage the tooth enamel and pave the way for cavities. On top of that, these treats can stick to the teeth, making these hard to remove even after brushing and flossing.
Sodas are loaded with sugars that cause dental cavities. On top of that, most soft drinks contain a high amount of acid which can wear down the tooth’s enamel.
Juices and other drinks
You might think that fruit juices and energy drinks are better than soft drinks. However, these can be just as bad because these contain a lot of sugar and acid.
Starchy foods like rice, bread and pasta are staples in most families’ diets and are not necessarily bad. However, these also contain sugars and have a tendency to get stuck between the teeth due to their texture.
Just like sticky treats, hard candies contain a huge amount of sugars that the bacteria in the mouth can feed on. And when kids bite on these, they can break or crack their teeth.
Dried and canned fruits
You might think that just because you are serving fruit, you are not harming the dental health of your child. Think again. Dried fruits are loaded with sugar and can get stuck between the teeth. Canned fruits are not any better as these also have a high sugar content, especially those that are soaked in syrup.
Dark foods which contain soy sauce and red pasta sauce can stain the teeth. On top of that, the high acid content of these foods can make the teeth porous and more vulnerable to dental problems.
Popcorn and corn on the cob
Many dieticians recommend popcorn and corn on the cob as healthy snack alternatives. However, these treats can be bad for the teeth as their bits can get stuck between the teeth. Left unchecked, these small bits can lead to infections. If your child wears braces, these bits can get stuck between the brackets.
The moral of the story is, visiting the dentist regularly, brushing, flossing and in some cases adding dental sealants are great ways to prevent cavities and damaged or stained teeth. All of these foods can be consumed in moderation. Be sure to schedule a cleaning with your child’s local dentist before the year is out.