Cavities in children are a result of several different factors. Some you can control such as practicing good dental health practices and some you can’t necessarily control such as the hereditary factors that dictate the strength of teeth in your children. One of the factors that are definitely in your control are the foods we eat and chew with our teeth. Some have a high concentration of sugars, simple starches and acids that erode dentin. Here are some of the top cavity-causing food items that you need to cut back on in your diet to ensure good overall oral health.
Foods High in Sugar and Starch
Have you wondered why children are more prone to cavities compared to adults? The reason for this is because some children’s diets consist of up to 90 percent of food items that are high in sugar and starch content. And these ingredients can lead to major plaque buildup when not brushed away. Cake, candy, sugary beverages and other sweet foods produce acids in the mouth that are harmful to your teeth. And because plaque is sticky, the acids will stick to the teeth and aid in the formation of tooth decay. When the teeth are exposed too much to the kind of plaque produced by sugar-rich foods, teeth are more likely to break down, causing cavities.
Some starches are just as dangerous. They convert to sugar in the mouth as you chew and salivas begins breaking down food particles. If you really insist on eating starchy of sweet foods, ensure that your child brush their teeth thoroughly after to rid your mouth of these harmful acids. It might not guarantee that you will be able to avoid getting a cavity, but it should help reduce your risk.
Foods and Beverages High in Acid
Some foods and beverages are high in acid, like soda and citrus drinks. These high acid drinks can also aid in the formation of cavities. Phosphoric acid, citric acid and carbonic acid are the most common acids found in soft drinks and these can be very aggressive and detrimental to young teeth. The best solution here is to just avoid soda since it can be so corrosive to overall health. Fruit drinks high in natural fruit can be very beneficial to overall health but the citric acid does attack dentin when left on teeth.
If you choose to consume these kinds of drinks despite the high risk of cavities they bring along with them, ensure that you do not drink them right before you go to sleep at night. This is because the mouth produces less saliva overnight so it cannot fight the acid as well. Also, when eating very acidic food items, try to pair it with some cheese. Cheese has neutralizing properties that help balance out acidity levels that these food items add to the mouth.
Foods that are Sticky
Food items that are naturally sticky, like most popular gummy candies and even things like potato chips, often find their way between teeth. Because of the starch and sugar composition of many of these foods, leaving this debris on your teeth will only encourage the erosion of enamel. This is the reason why brushing your teeth and eating certain snacks can be very beneficial to your oral health.
Dried fruit is a big culprit under this category. You might think that consuming dried fruit is good for your health and it can be but the residue left on teeth is actually very bad for your teeth. Once fruit is dried, most its moisture is removed so there is less liquid to wash away harmful sugars. With the dried fruit’s stickiness combined with the sugar content, this supposed healthy snack can significantly contribute to the formation of a cavity.
If you think you have a cavity, or you just want to learn more about how to prevent their formation in your children, ask a children’s dentist Langhorne to help you and your child understand good oral health practices. When discussing oral heath with a pediatric dentist in Newtown, bring along a list of the common snack and lunch items you are currently serving your kids. Even if your child does not have cavities as of yet, making a habit to visit the dentist twice a year to get dental services for children like exams and cleanings. This way, any other oral problems can be detected and acted on before they start affecting their oral health in a very corrosive way.