Some of the more frequent questions that parents ask their pediatric dentist concern the foods that are good for their children’s teeth – and those that aren’t. On the top of the list of no-no’s is sugar. While sugar is a source of quick energy, it also fills our kids up so that there is no room for the healthier food choices that provide the vitamins and minerals that are so important to their growth and development. Maybe that’s why dessert comes at the end of the meal!
Although it just isn’t realistic to think that you can completely eliminate sugar from your child’s diet, you can control it. A sweet snack once in awhile is fine, but don’t let it become a habit or treat it as a reward for good behavior. Dentists encourage parents to offer healthier choices and have them on hand all the time. If other family members get in the habit of snacking on carrot sticks and cheese stuffed celery stalks from the fridge, children are apt to follow suit.
Carbonated drinks, are full of sugar. Even the “diet” ones contain acids that damage tooth enamel, so instead of having sodas on hand inspire your kids to drink more water – keep bottles or a pitcher of ice water on tap. Because fruit juices are also acidic they should be consumed moderately. Milk is a good source of the calcium that encourages the growth of teeth and bones, but when you add sweet chocolate syrup or milkshake mixes the unhealthy results outweigh the good. So when it comes right down to it water should be the beverage of choice for growing children.
You may not think of medicine as a cause of tooth decay but some over the counter child medications contain sugar to make them taste good to the kids. This can be especially harmful if the medicine is used over a long period of time. Ask your pediatrician to prescribe a sugar free medication if at all possible.
The Epic Dentistry for Kids in Aurora will make every effort to give you an appointment time that fits well with your busy schedule. Call 720-721-3600 to talk to a staff member.