Most parents have heard the warnings about feeding your kids moderate servings of unhealthy food and beverages such as soft drinks, candy, and other high-sugar choices. In an effort to keep your child on a well-balanced and healthy diet, you opt for the marketed healthy foods and drinks thinking you are doing the right thing for your child’s overall health as well as their oral health. Unfortunately, there are some foods that are marketed as health foods and beverages that are actually a detriment to your child’s oral care and we at Smile Reef would like to list a few examples to help you be more aware.
Healthy Food & Drinks that are Bad for Teeth
Sport Drinks and Water Enhanced Drinks: These drinks are often advertised as a healthy way to recover from intense workouts and activities, but in fact they are not good for you or your kids in the slightest. In a 20oz bottle of the vitamin enhanced waters, there is more sugar contained in there than the recommended daily amount for adults. Though they may taste good, pure water should be the top choice to re-hydrate your little ones. Sports drinks are not any better than these water enhanced drinks, most of those drinks even have more sugar than many soft drinks. Not only is water better for your child, but it naturally rinses away a lot of the debris formed on teeth.
Smoothies: With the added mouth-healthy rewards of non-fat Greek yogurt and the nutritional benefits of fruit, smoothies are believed to be an overall healthy choice. However, improperly made smoothies can have excessive amounts of sugar packed in the high dose of calories. When buying or making smoothies, be sure to opt for the low-sugar fruits and limit the high-sugar fruits. Avoid these high-sugar fruits grapes, figs, pomegranates, mangoes, and cherries.
Dried Fruit: In the event you are trying to improve your child’s oral health, dried fruits should be avoided as well. Dried fruits have none of the water that helps fruit a healthy food and they contain increasingly higher levels of sugar than their natural state. For example, dried plums are prunes; 1 cup of prunes has 45 grams of sugar and 400 calories, whereas a plum has only 75 calories and a mere 16 grams of sugar. Choose fresh fruit instead of dried fruit.
Granola: For an added dietary benefit, granola has been advertised to enhance yogurt, or milk and as a healthy alternative to cereal. However, granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat which can lead to tooth decay and the high density of calories can leave your child hungry and often result in them overeating. If you insist on granola, be sure to check the nutritional value and opt for the ones high in fiber and low in sugar.
Trail Mix: Trail mix may seem like a healthy snack but many of the trail mix concoctions include unhealthy ingredients as well as increasingly high amounts of sugar and fat to their plate. Avoid the trail mixes that contain chocolate, dried fruit, and especially candy. Choose the mixes that don’t add sweets or are unflavored.
Pediatric Dental Care
With a healthy diet, optimal oral hygiene habits and dental visits every six months, your child can better preserve their teeth and avoid cavities and excessive tooth decay. Call Smile Reef today to make your child’s dental appointment for a checkup to keep their dental health on the right track.
Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. As dental providers and parents, we want to do everything we can to avoid the little ones from getting cavities. Fluoride is one of the key ingredients to minimize cavities and strengthen teeth. Understanding the structure of teeth can help you get a better grasp on how fluoride is beneficial. We at Smile Reef would like to take an opportunity to discuss the importance of fluoride.
Tooth Enamel Definition
Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel protects teeth from the constant impact of daily use as enamel is the teeth’s outer layer. The enamel is strong and serves as a barrier to keep the nerves from feeling any kind of pressure when the kids eat foods, especially crunchy apples and carrots. In a nutshell, the enamel is the exterior casing of the tooth. Unfortunately, enamel is not invincible; over time it can wear away or even break apart and sustain damage.
What Causes Weak Tooth Enamel?
Children that eat a lot of sugar and drink soda regularly along with poor oral hygiene habits can experience a loss in enamel. As the enamel wears, the tooth will start to decay from the bacteria that settle on teeth and secrete an acid that attacks the tooth itself. The acid produced from the bacteria eats the enamel. As the enamel is weakened the acid will then start to deteriorate the tooth at a faster rate. A naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel is fluoride. With the increased strength of the enamel, the acid cannot penetrate through it so easily, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are ideally recommended on an annual basis with your dentist, but children who are genetically prone to tooth decay may need more frequent fluoride treatments. The long-term oral health and longevity of children’s teeth can be better improved with stronger teeth.
Fluoride Treatments Strengthen Tooth Enamel
Fluoride treatments are especially simple and does not cause any discomfort for your child. The dentist will generally apply the fluoride directly to their teeth and after a short time, the fluoride will begin to strengthen the enamel; from there the fluoride is thoroughly removed. The fluoride does not cause any kind of irritation and has distinct smells or tastes. More often than not, the kids do not notice they are even getting a treatment and fewer ever complain about the treatment. The fluoride treatment is one of the most simplistic and beneficial treatments your kids will experience. It is recommended by experts that kids should visit their pediatric dentist once a quarter for those with extreme cases where kids are experiencing significant dental decay. But the average is fluoride treatments once or twice year. The frequency is really dictated by the child’s individual health of their teeth.
Enamel Hardening Toothpaste
To help ensure your children are getting fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel, experts encourage parents to have the kids brush their teeth a fluoride enriched toothpaste. Doing so will further strengthen their teeth and augment the treatments performed by the dentist.
If your child or children are due for their dental visit, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef today and during their routine exam we can discuss fluoride treatment and optimal ways you can incorporate it for your child’s oral hygiene routine.