Preserve those heart-melting smiles your children flash at you. Junk food leads to tooth decay that could tarnish those pearly whites. During National Children’s Dental Health Month, teach them helpful habits to combat sugary foods and drinks. This includes hygiene steps and healthy foods to eat to preserve both their oral and physical health.
Junk Food Leads to Tooth Decay in Children
Fact: The No. 1 cause of cavities and tooth decay is high sugar diets. However, you and your children can fight back.
The American Dental Association slogan for the event it took over in 1949 offers the first piece of advice — “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” The ADA offers several activities to help ingrain these healthy attitudes and habits in children to make good oral health a life-long practice.
Besides causing cavities, junk food leads to other unhealthy consequences research shows. It can cause memory and learning problems, increased risk of dementia, weakening of your brain’s ability to control appetite, depression, and heightens impatience among other health issues.
Who doesn’t like a potato chip? We all like junk food but it contains high levels of calories from sugar and fat and lacks fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals. Those sugars typically attack the tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes afterward. That’s why the ADA emphasizes the importance of brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash during snacking or immediately afterward.
Healthy Snacks for Children to Eat
Another healthy habit includes eating healthy snacks. Sure, the occasional glazed donut, chocolate candy bar, soda or sugary sports drink is harmless.
But the ADA recommends satisfying your sweet tooth with sugar-free lollipops and sugarless gum that carry its seal. Both prevent having a dry mouth that spurs plaque to build up on teeth faster. In addition, they can dislodge food caught between your teeth and neutralize harmful acids. Remember, junk food leads to tooth decay, so the more you can avoid it the better.
Additionally, reach first for lean protein, vegetables, fruits, calcium and nuts that strengthen your teeth, instead of pigging out on all those enamel-eroding carbohydrates and sugars. Good foods for snacking include plenty of options, such as apples, celery, carrots, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, seeds, milk and water. These all provide vitamins and minerals that protect your teeth. Plus, they will make your children grow up to be big and strong!
Receive a Regular Dental Checkup with Orange Beach Family Dentistry!
Remember, junk food leads to tooth decay in your children! Enlist the friendly and committed Orange Beach Family Dentistry team in your battle to keep your child’s teeth — and yours, too — in healthy shape. Call us and schedule a teeth-cleaning appointment today!