The sugary drinks and food we consume change into acid on contact with the bacteria naturally present in our saliva. The acid wears away our tooth enamel and cavities eventually form on our teeth.
Unfortunately, many nutritious drinks and foods contain natural sugar, which is equally damaging to our teeth. For example, milk, fruit juice and most starchy foods (crackers, teething biscuits, etc.) break down into sugar. If these foods remain in our mouth long enough, they transform into acid. Naturally, you cannot cut these foods out of your children’s diet entirely since they contain vitamins and nutrients essential to good growth.
To limit the damage caused by sugar, your role is to keep on top of what your children are eating and supervise how often they brush their teeth. This means taking the time to read the list of ingredients on each product label before putting it in your grocery cart. Foods that contain corn, corn syrup or maple syrup, honey, molasses, fructose, glucose or dextrose-based sweeteners should be used in moderation. Since children love snacks, offer them water before any other beverage. Nuts, cheese and raw vegetables are excellent go-to options, both in terms of oral health and the general health. Fruit juices, soft drinks and candy should be offered sparingly. Careful tooth brushing is advised after eating.