We all know that sugar is bad for the teeth, especially for our little ones. And as parents, we want our kids to eat healthily. But let’s admit that there are times when we just couldn’t resist giving in to our children’s request for sweets, snacks, and drinks that are not that healthy. While it may be challenging, we need to start being mindful of what they eat. Here is a quick list of the food that you may want to limit in your child’s diet:
1. Candies, especially the chewy or sticky ones
This one is not surprising at all since we know candies are full of sugar. Not only is candy bad for your child’s teeth, but it is also bad for his or her overall health. Candies, especially the chewy and sticky ones like caramel, marshmallows, and fruits snacks can cause serious damage if intake is not lessened. Add to this category the sour candies that are, aside from being chewy and sticky, acidic enough to erode your child’s teeth enamel.
It will be unrealistic if we say that our children should not be given candies at all. But at least, limiting their consumption of such will go a long way as they grow older. In instances where eating sweets are unavoidable, just make sure that you let your child brush his or her teeth afterward. This simple routine can surely help in preventing tooth decay down the road.
2. Unhealthy drinks like soda and sweetened juices
There are several unhealthy drinks that are being sold now in the market. But of all the drinks that are available, soda is said to be the worst. Not only does it ruin your child’s teeth, but it is also very unhealthy for his or her overall health and body. Soda, or carbonated drinks, contain carbonic acid. Whenever your child takes in soda, he or she is exposed to this tooth-decaying acid. Frequently drinking soda erodes your child’s teeth enamel, making it more prone to toothache and decay.
Sweetened fruit juices, while considered the ‘healthier’ drink, also contains a lot of sugar. Just like candies and soda, the sweet substance from the juice is retained in the mouth producing bacteria and eventually, cavities.
3. Starches like Pasta, Bread, and Chips
Food high in starch may seem to be not that harmful to your child’s teeth. Food like bread, pasta, and some healthy chips have nutritional value in them. While that is true, starchy food can also cause tooth problems. When eaten and chewed, the starchy food turns into sugar that sticks to the nooks and crannies of the teeth. And just like candies and sweetened drinks, these makes of a good breeding ground for bacteria.
Given the need to consume carbohydrates, perhaps it is best for us parents to choose the whole wheat or whole grain variety instead. Whole grains are said to have less sugar and are harder to be broken down when consumed.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are largely beneficial to our kids’ body and health. They are high in Vitamin C. But while they are rich in calcium and other nutrients, citrus fruits are also acidic and can wear away the teeth’s enamel that eventually causes tooth decay. Do not worry though since there are ways that our kids can still have citrus fruits in their diet without causing too much trouble in their oral health. For lemon or orange juice, for example, drinking water after consuming such will help minimize the effect of the acid on the teeth and gums.
These kinds of food, while hard to resist and enjoyable to eat, can cause bacteria and cavities that can wreak havoc on our children’s teeth. This is not to say that our growing children be not allowed to have these treats because it is simply not realistic. However, we should try our best to keep these foods’ consumption at a minimum if we want our kids to have healthy teeth. So the next time you go to the supermarket, check your grocery list. Maybe you should take off some items in there. It is not always easy, but this habit will do you good in the long run in lessening tooth decay, tears and terrifying visits to your child’s dentist.
Top 9 Foods that Damage Your Teeth, MouthHealthy.org by American Dental Association (https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-Foods-That-Damage-Your-Teeth)
The 8 Worst Foods for Your Teeth, Healthline.com (https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/worst-foods-for-your-teeth#1)
Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth, Health.com (https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20687551,00.html?slide=124020#124020)