Sugar, and simple starches that convert into sugar, are one of the biggest contributors to cavities. That’s because the plaque bacteria responsible for acidic erosion, feeds on sugars. When your kids eat too much sugar, the plaque is feasting on it, and able to multiply much more quickly, leading to further plaque growth, which calcifies into tartar buildup. Since tartar can only be removed through a professional dental cleaning, preventing tartar is a key step in preventive care. This is also an excellent example why regular dental checkups are essential to healthy smiles. It should also be a compelling reason to make sure your kids are getting well-balanced meals, which can help keep their young smiles looking great for many years to come.
Watch for Sugar; It’s Everywhere
You’re probably not adding white sugar to many of your kids’ meals. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that what they eat isn’t filled with added sugars, which can lead to cavities requiring dental fillings. From fruit juices and sports drinks to yogurts and crackers, many packaged foods are loaded with extra sugar. It might make them delicious, but it can also be detrimental for teeth.
To limit the sugar in their diet, make sure their plates and lunchboxes are filled with fruits and vegetables that add much-needed nutrients to their meals, without high sugar content. Lean proteins and dairy products are also great for growing kids.
Just read the labels before purchasing anything, including seemingly healthy options like yogurt or granola bars. If sugar, in any form, is one of the first ingredients on the list, opt for something healthier. Keep in mind that you can’t go wrong with kid-friendly foods like clementines, baby carrots, small apples, bananas and other easy to grab-and-go foods even picky eaters will enjoy!