The Top 4 Things that Are Damaging Children’s Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is the primary layer of protection against cavities. Keeping enamel strong can prevent tooth decay and limit the need for restorative dental treatments that are costly. Here are four categories of foods and beverages to watch out for in order to help your children maintain a bright and cheerful smile.
- Sugary Drinks – We mention these often on our blog, but that’s because sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks continue to be popular among children. These drinks are terrible for teeth, and kids have to rely on parents to say no, and provide practical substitutes such as water, milk, unsweetened tea, or unsweetened sparkling water beverages.
- Fast Food – Fast food is frequently high in sugar content. Take McDonald’s for example. In a Big Mac, there are 9 grams of sugar. A small Coke (16 oz) contains 40 grams of sugar. If you substitute the Coke for a small chocolate shake, that’s 75 grams of sugar.
- Sticky Foods – The problem with sticky foods is that food stays on the teeth and may even cling past the next brushing if teeth cleaning isn’t performed properly. Sticky candies are the worst because they coat teeth in the perfect substance for enamel-destroying bacteria to thrive on. However, even dried fruit can leave a sticky residue on teeth, making that a poor snack at school when there’s usually no toothbrush around.
- High Acid Foods & Drinks – Acidic foods damage enamel quickly. But don’t judge a food’s acidity by its taste. Tomatoes may seem more acidic than maple syrup, but the two have similar acidity levels. In fact, even though lemons are acidic, the sweetness is usually more of an indicator of acidity than sourness. Watch out for drinks with added citric acid like many fruit juices.
Caring for Your Child’s Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel protection starts with good habits at home. Daily brushing and flossing can remove the bacteria that eats away at enamel and removes food particles that increase acidity in the mouth. It is also important to stick to a good schedule of dental visits for professional cleanings. BRSH+FLSS Pediatric Dentistry loves promoting prevention with kids and parents. Schedule your kids for a checkup and cleaning by calling 619-741-1500.