With the holidays upon us, the battle against your child’s wants and encouraging dental hygiene has reached critical mass. And while as quickly as the holidays arrive, they are gone, it’s important to stock your kitchen with the proper kinds of food and drink.
Today, we’re going to focus on a few common threats found in every kitchen and give you a couple ideas on how to keep you, your children, and your dentist happy!
1) Dried fruits
It comes as a shock to many people, but dried fruits can be a big enemy in the fight against cavities. Raisins, apricots, prunes and others, that are sweet when fresh, have more highly concentrated sugars when dehydrated. This allows them to cling to the enamel of your children’s teeth like a gooey candy snack.
To make matters worse, the insoluble fiber typically found in fruits helps trap sugar on and around teeth, which makes them public enemy number one to good dental hygiene.
2) Citrus-only snacks
Fruits from the citrus family are highly acidic. The citric acid found in limes, lemons, oranges even berries can wreak havoc on a child’s tooth enamel. They are so powerful that they are often used as a cleaning agent! Ever wonder why all those cleaners under the sink are citrus-scented?
Ditching these fruits entirely would be a bad idea, so find a happy medium by combining the citrus with other foods. This allows the acidic particles to attach to something other than your child’s teeth and minimizes any potential damage.
Vinegar is a great low-fat alternative to add flavor to a dish often found in salad dressings, hot sauce, chips, and pickles. However, for less mature tooth enamel that is more vulnerable to erosion, it’s best to avoid it.
Ensure dental health with a good, thorough rinsing after meals either by brushing or drinking plenty of water. But, make sure to wait 30 minutes before brushing, which allows softened enamel a chance to recover.
4) Mouth-drying consumables
If your child is sick and put on a medication that includes the side effect of dry mouth, this can put their teeth and gums in danger. The best solution is to keep them hydrated with plenty of fluids, like water or fluoridated rinses.
Giving your child’s natural defenses the right tools to fight off decay and gum disease should always be your first rule in good dental hygiene!
5) Chewable vitamins
Whether they are multivitamins or vitamin-specific supplements, chewable vitamins pack a big punch to a child’s teeth because they contain a concentrated acid and high amounts of sugar which can find a home in teeth. Even with vigorous brushing, this can be hard to remove unless your child is flossing. Given enough time, this will eventually wear down the young enamel.
Of course, none of these facts can help without a good, consistent routine of dental hygiene that consists of brushing, flossing, rinsing and check-ups! At Dentistry for Children and Adolescents, we are dedicated to equipping parents with what you need to know!