Children’s Dental Health Month

tooth illustration

By: Christine Kleinheksel

What you eat matters!  The American Dental Association recommends that parents and children avoid these top seven foods to improve help improve their dental health:

 

  1. HARD CANDY:  While hard candies may seem harmless, the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth.  In addition, they can trigger a dental emergency with a chipped or broken tooth.  Try chewing some sugarless gum instead.
  2. ICE:  Although seemingly harmless, the cold temperature of ice can make teeth brittle, making them especially vulnerable to breaking or chipping, and can damage enamel.
  3. CITRUS: Watch citrus intake – frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time, and can also irritate mouth sores.
  4. STICKY FOODS:  When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list.  However many dried fruits are sticky, and can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food.  If you eat dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after, and to brush and floss carefully.
  5. THINGS THAT GO “CRUNCH”:  Crunchy snacks such as potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth.  If you indulge in snacks like these, take care to brush and floss carefully to remove food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.
  6. SODA:  Swap out soda for water.  When you sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your tooth enamel.  Even diet soda can potentially damage your teeth, as soda in general is acidic, which can also damage tooth enamel.
  7. SPORTS DRINKS:  Even though they sound healthy, the top ingredient in many sports drinks is sugar.  Check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar.

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