Maybe you don't allow your child to snack on sugary sweets, and cola doesn't have a place in your family's fridge. Even though these foods and beverages are known causes of dental decay, they aren't the only cavity culprits that can send your child to a kids' dentist. As you plan your child's daily menu, take a look at the sneaky snacks that can lead to dental disease.
Orange juice seems healthy. But when it comes to your child's teeth, this vitamin-rich pick can cause problems. The same goes for grapefruit juice, lemonade, limeade, and whole citrus fruits.
While orange juice contains vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium, it's also highly acidic. Even though the high vitamin concentration offers bone-building, gum health, and wound-healing benefits, these pros may come at a cost.
Highly acidic juices, such as orange juice, can erode dental enamel. This leaves your child's teeth open to decay and cavity formation. A study from the University of Rochester Medical Center even found that orange juice can increase the roughness of dental enamel and decrease its hardness.
Even though orange juice has plenty of vitamin C, you can find this healthy nutrient in other foods. Instead of your child bathing their teeth in a steady stream of acidic liquid, switch out the orange juice for fresh whole fruits such as apples or vegetables such as carrots.
Some Types of Cereal
Like orange juice, cereal has nutritional pros and cons. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins (such as folate and niacin), and antioxidants. But sugary cereals can have the same effect sweet treats have on your child's teeth. The sugar coatings, marshmallows, and high carbohydrate content of some (but not all) cereals can feed the bacteria that breed in the mouth.
Instead of cereals with added sugar, choose whole gain, low-carb products. Avoid anything that has a sweet coating, marshmallows, or candy pieces.
Did you swap your child's favorite candy for healthier dried fruit? Even though dried fruit is natural, it's still a sugar-containing sweet treat. The sugar in dried fruit feeds oral bacteria and can lead to a visit to the children's dentist. Beyond the sugar content, dried fruits can easily stick to your child's teeth. The combination of the high sugar concentration and stickiness can increase the risk of dental decay.
Along with regular visits to a dentist for kids, you can help to reduce dental decay and damage with a few changes to your child's diet. Not only should your child avoid candy, cookies, soda, and other sugary sweets, but they should also limit citrus juices, some cereals, and dried fruit snacks.