Today we are going to talk about some very important recommendations and guidelines for children and caretakers as it relates to their oral health. Some of the things that you will well know already are the impacts that your dietary choices will have on your child’s health as well as how to maintain their hygiene. One of the most important topics that we will talk about for maintaining proper oral health for both children, adolescents, and adults of all ages is the dietary choices that you make.
In order to maintain proper oral health, there are a few things that we always must do. One of which is to eat the right and healthy foods. We recognize that people come from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and certain foods are much more popular with different people. However, we do want to make sure that we are giving you proper information about which foods might put you at a higher risk or your children at a higher risk for producing cavities. Cavities will be a problem with your teeth, where bacteria grows on them and unfortunately makes them weaker and they are more prone to having toothaches or other further problems that can develop from a cavity. In order for a cavity to form you need some kind of food, germs and bacteria and also a healthy tooth surface. When those three things meet together, that is where the opportunity for a cavity to happen.
We thankfully have many defenses against having cavities form. Some of them are brushing and flossing as we’ve discussed. Other ones are your own natural saliva. Your own saliva and spit contain many different elements and nutrients to be able to maintain your oral health. Having proper saliva is very healthy. But to get back to our diet we want to make sure that there is a proper plan for having the right amount of sugar in everyone’s diet. We all know that children enjoy sweet foods that might have more sugar in them than other foods. It’s important to be able to talk about which foods and beverages might have higher amounts of sugar in them and how to be able to make those a little bit healthier choices.
One of the ways to make healthier choices around sugary beverages is to have juice with a little bit of water in it or might have no added sugars to them. While there are many people that do have soda and other carbonated beverages, what, unfortunately, these beverages have is some element of acidity. Acidity is the actual bubbles in carbonation within soda. This acidic environment is what can, unfortunately, make the tooth more able and at higher risk of having a cavity. The longer time that the carbonated beverage with acid or sugar is on the tooth without it being brushed away or cleaned through other means, the higher the chance of developing a cavity.
We live in a world where there are many different choices that you can make about the foods that you and your children may have. It is important to be able to understand what some of the consequences might be for these. Having foods that are harder, stickier, chewier such as hard candy and other things that are very sweet put our teeth at increased risk of developing and making cavities or even unfortunately breaking teeth. It’s very important for children, especially those at younger ages that might be teething to eat only food or things that are appropriate for teething. One other important thing to keep in mind when having chewier or stickier foods is that we want to make sure that we rinse with water or brush our teeth right afterward.