Sugary Foods Wreak Havoc On Your Teeth
Great snacks made up of foods that don’t cause cavities are possible. Sugary snacks are so delicious – but they’re not so great for teeth. The cookies, cakes, and candy bars your kids are eating after school and snacking on throughout the day can cause their teeth to decay. And that means pricey dental visits. So how can you reduce cavities and dental spending?
First, let’s look at how sugars wreak havoc on teeth? Tiny, invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria can form a sticky material called plaque, and the plaque will adhere to the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar into your mouth, the bacteria living in the plaque eat up all that sweet stuff and turn it into acid. This acid is so powerful that it can dissolve the hard enamel covering on your teeth. That is how cavities begin to form.
Steer Your Kids Clear Of Sugary Snacks
Kids often get snacks that are overloaded with sugar and salt, so how do you get your kids to eat the snacks that are healthier and better for their teeth, too? Making healthy foods fun to eat is one of the best ways your kids’ snack picks. For example, you can add fruit into smoothie, turn yogurt into sundaes, and top vegetables with delicious cheeses, spreads, and sauces. Use a variety of fruits and veggies for colour, which makes the snack more interesting to little ones. Try arranging the snacks on a plate in silly face shapes or smiles.
You should also talk to your kids about the rewards of healthy snacks, and also warn them of the dangers of eating sugary snacks. Show them pictures of tooth decay. Instruct them on brushing twice per day, and in between meals, too.
BUSY MOM TIP: If you’re not home or rushed, and don’t have the utensils or the time to have kids brush their teeth after a sugary snack, have them rinse their mouths well with water. Make it a fun counting game; count 10 swishes of water around their mouth and spit. This helps rinse away remaining surface sugars. Also, a small piece of hard cheese helps keep teeth clean. For older children, teens and adults, sugar free gum with xylitol after a meal may help prevent cavities.
10 Healthy Foods For Healthy Teeth
CARROTS: Carrots can be made more tantalizing with a little bowl of ranch sauce. Kids love the crunchy sound too.
CELERY: Celery can be made more appealing with ranch sauce, too. Or try some low fat cream cheese and dot it with raisins, for “ants on a log”, a fun treat indeed.
PINEAPPLE: Parents too often overlook this fruit but it is a great snack. It’s sweet as candy and pairs well with some cottage cheese. This one is sugary so be sure to rinse with water or burst after eating.
LOW-FAT YOGURT: Get creative with yogurt and add fruit, oatmeal, granola or nuts. Turn it into a healthy dessert.
UNSALTED PRETZELS: Unsalted pretzels are a great alternative to some of the more sugary or fatty snacks that kids munch on after school.
WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD: Whole-grain bread is easy to substitute for white bread on sandwiches you pack for lunch for your kids
UNSALTED NUTS: Unsalted nuts make a great addition to your kids’ school lunch bags.
UNSALTED PUMPKIN SEEDS: Unsalted pumpkin seeds aren’t given enough attention on grocery shopping trips, but they’re really tasty. Your kids will love them.
PEANUT BUTTER: Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are a no-brainer. Get sugar-free jam and you’re set. Or try peanut butter and banana, or peanut butter and thinly sliced apple.
BAKED CHICKEN OR TURKEY: Baked chicken or turkey is delicious with the right condiments and make a convenient and healthy snack.
Regular Check Ups Are Key
Healthier snacks, less sugar and regular flossing and brushing will go a long way towards reducing cavities. Prevention is very effective. Regular dental check ups help reinforce positive habits and spot problems early on. Early detection of cavities or tooth problems makes treatment less invasive and less costly, so be sure to book yourself and the kids in today.
We’re a family dental office offering dental and orthodontic treatment, open until 8:00pm most days, and we are accepting new patients. Call us today at 905-697-9799.