How Can We Avoid a Cavity? Pt. 2: Children’s Diet
Keep an eye on how often your child eats, as well as what she eats.
Your child’s diet is important in preventing a cavity. Remember: every time we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starches, bacteria in our mouth use the sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s enamel.
Our saliva can help fight off this acid attack. But if we eat frequently throughout the day—especially foods and drinks containing sugar and starches—the repeated acid attacks will win the tug of war, causing the tooth to lose minerals and eventually develop a cavity.
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on how often your children eat as well as what they eat.
- Limit between-meal snacks. This reduces the number of acid attacks on teeth and gives teeth a chance to repair themselves.
- Save candy, cookies, soda, and other sugary drinks for special occasions.
- Limit fruit juice. Follow the Daily Juice Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Make sure your child doesn’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it after bedtime tooth brushing. Saliva flow decreases during sleep. Without enough saliva, teeth are less able to repair themselves after an acid attack.
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