Cavities in children’s teeth are the stubborn, troublesome monsters of their growing years! However, preventing cavities is next to impossible if you do not know what foods to avoid and what causes tooth decay in toddlers. Let us take a look at bad food for teeth.
Sugar is harmful to the overall health of our teeth. The bacteria in the mouth utilize sugar to produce acid that then causes enamel damage and cavities in children’s teeth. Cakes, ice creams, sugar candies, and chocolates definitely top the list of your child’s favorite food. However, you should limit their intake and ensure that your child brushes his/her teeth after eating any sugary food or drink.
The time between two meals allows the saliva to wash away the bacteria in our mouth. However, if the child has between-meal snacks, the constant supply of sugar and starch may promote bacterial growth and subsequent tooth decay. Hence, the child should avoid snacking on sugary foods during between-meal times. If unavoidable, you can offer the food as dessert with regular meals. Substitute sugar candies with fruits such as strawberries and pear. They contain a high quantity of water and can satisfy the sweet cravings of your child.
Milk is rich in sugar and gets easily deposited on the enamel; therefore, pacifiers containing milk should not be kept in the baby’s mouth for a long time. If your baby drinks milk before sleep time, make sure to clean their mouth before they sleep.
Starches affect our teeth in the same way as sugary foods and can be considered as bad food for teeth. Starches are obtained from carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes. You can substitute potatoes with hard cheese as it increases saliva production and serves as a tooth-friendly snack.
Jams, lollipops, mint, jelly candies, honey, and caramel get accumulated in the ridges of the teeth and cause tooth decay and cavity formation. Avoid such foods completely or brush your child’s teeth after having them.
Dry fruits such as raisins and sun-dried dates and apricots also tend to stick to the teeth, so take care to clean your child’s teeth.
Carbonated drinks are the biggest enemies of teeth. These drinks contain a high amount of sugar and soda. Soda drinks also contain one of the three acids – citric acid, carbonic acid, or phosphoric acid. The bacteria in our body consume the sugar to produce acid and that, combined with the existing acid in the soda, doubles the harmful effect on our teeth, leading to dental erosion or severe tooth damage. Consumption of carbonated drinks may lead to signs of tooth decay in children at a very young age.
Chewing on ice can cause teeth damage, over-sensitization, and dental emergencies.
The newly erupted teeth of your child are fragile. Some foods, for example, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, have hard outer covers that can crack the teeth or weaken the enamel, as they are hard to bite. You should remove the outer coverings of such foods before giving them to your child.
Healthy eating habits go a long way in maintaining healthy teeth.
Also read: Cavities In Toddlers & What To Do About Them