We all know by now that too much sugar is detrimental to the health and appearance of teeth. Sugar makes teeth more susceptible to decay by eroding the enamel (the tooth’s thin outer layer).
While reducing the amount of sugar you consume may be hard in itself, parents often face the added struggle of limiting the amount of sugary treats their little ones eat. Longmont family dentist Dr. Amy Farmer understands this struggle and is here to help. Here, she shares her top tips on how cut your child’s (and your own) sugar snacking.
Be Wary of Juice
Juice is a staple among childhood snacks but unfortunately too much juice is bad news for your child’s teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 1 to 6 have no more than four to six ounces of juice each day. Most juice boxes are about six ounces, so younger children should have no more than one juice box per day. Children ages 7 to 18 should drink no more than eight to 12 ounces. Help your kids cut down on juice by limiting juices to only meal times. Additionally, encourage them to drink healthier beverages, such as water and milk, as much as possible.
Avoid Sticky Snacks
Sweet snacks like gummy bears, raisins and taffy can create a sticky and harmful situation for your and your child’s teeth. Foods like these stick to teeth and take longer to get washed away by saliva, putting teeth at risk for cavities and decay. Avoid (or limit) sweet, sticky snacks as much as possible. When you do choose to indulge, pair sticky foods with a glass of water to wash away food debris and sugar.
Ditch the Soda
Consider this: one can of soda contains the amount of sugar recommended for three days for a child! Sodas and other sugary, carbonated drinks can cause serious damage, eroding and decaying teeth. It’s also important to limit sugar-free and diet alternatives, as they contain phosphorus and carbonation that can also wear down tooth enamel.
Lead by Example
As is the case with most habits, setting the right example for your children can help ensure they practice healthy habits. Limiting your own sugary snacking not only prolongs your oral health but can also help encourage your child to eat healthier. It’s also essential to establish proper oral hygiene habits with your children early on, including brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day.
Schedule a Regular Dental Exam
Stay on top of your and your family’s oral health by scheduling regular dental visits with Dr. Farmer. The American Dental Association recommends both children and adults schedule a routine cleaning and exam twice a year. To schedule a comprehensive dental exam for you and your child, please call (303) 776-1480.