The best way to prevent cavities is to fully understand how a cavity forms. It is not necessarily WHAT your child eats but HOW OFTEN they eat it. Every form of sugar, whether natural or processed, plays a role in tooth decay.
Healthy ChoicesUnderstanding exactly how a cavity form is extremely important when it comes to your little one’s oral health. It’s not only the plaque that forms on the teeth that can be a concern but what and how often your child snacks throughout the day. Grazing on treats and drinks can quickly become the enemy. Immediately after brushing, a sticky, colorless layer of bacteria called plaque begins to form on teeth. This plaque will remain on a tooth until properly removed with effective brushing. Every time that your child consumes a form of sugar (whether carbohydrate or a sugary drink), they feed this bacterial plaque, which produces acid. This acid attack on the tooth enamel, lasting 20 minutes or more, creates ‘cavity mode’ and can lead to a breakdown of tooth enamel causing a cavity. If your child is grazing or snacking throughout the day, they are flirting with a high risk of tooth decay.
- Frequency is key to help keep your child cavity-free! Limit the number of snacks times throughout the day
- Avoid starchy snacks, such as crackers, bread, cookies, and chips which can linger in the grooves of the teeth making the cavity mode last longer.
- Shop smart and stock your fridge and pantry with healthy snacks. Save the sugary, starchy snacks for special occasions or at mealtime
- Choose healthier snacks such as yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, and even dark chocolate, which has antioxidant properties.
- Soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, and even juices tend to be acidic which can break down the enamel even faster.
- Don’t lick or sip – the longer it takes to lick a hard piece of candy or drink a sugary beverage, the greater the damage.
- Drink at one sitting or with food and drink only water to hydrate