When we think about summertime, we think about fun in the sun, and also, our favorite summer treats. Snow cones, ice cream, lemonade, and other sugar-rich items are staples of these blistering Texas days. However, too much of a good thing is a recipe for cavities. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how to limit sugar intake and offer fun alternatives.
Sugary Foods and Drinks
When you consume too many foods high in sugar, or enjoy beverages with a high amount of sugar, this leaves particles on and between the teeth. Bacteria will then break down these particles and in the process, increase oral acidity and coat the teeth in plaque buildup. Plaque is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing alone, so this buildup remains on the surfaces of the teeth, weakening enamel and inflaming gum tissues. Over time, these factors increase the risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.
The Risks of Starch
Starch is also another item that remains on teeth for bacteria to consume. Starch is often found in chips!
Drink more water, as it contains no acids or sugars and helps cleanse the smile. If you have babies and toddlers, don’t let them fall asleep for bedtime or a nap with a bottle of milk or juice, as this coats the teeth in sugars and increases the risk of tooth decay. Try to avoid sodas, energy drinks, and even sports drinks. If your kids do enjoy an occasional glass of these items, encourage them to drink a glass of water afterward.
Instead of chips and candy, try to encourage healthier snacks. We suggest whole grain options, nuts, cheeses, low-fat yogurt, sugar-free gum, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only are these light in harmful sugars and aids, but rough fruits and veggies like carrots, broccoli, and apples help scrub away plaque as you consume them.
Better Oral Hygiene Habits for Kids
A better diet is just part of the process. You also need to brush your teeth twice a day and also floss every night before bed to remove food particles and control plaque buildup. A checkup and cleaning every six months is also beneficial, as we watch for the earliest warning signs of cavities and then remove all plaque with a thorough cleaning.
Does Your Child Need an Exam?
We want to help your little ones enjoy their best possible smile this summer, and that means routine care both at home and in our office. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.