Wellness Blog

Posts for: February, 2019

42 PERCENT OF CHILDREN will get at least one cavity between ages 2 and 11, and tooth decay is the most common childhood disease.  Why is it so common, and what can we as parents do to keep our children’s teeth healthy?  Well, before we can fight childhood tooth decay, we must understand its causes.

Sippy Cups And Baby Bottle Rot

One of the biggest dangers to a child’s oral health comes from sugary drinks and the way children consume them.  Whether the drink is soda, fruit juice, or even milk, the sugars in the drink will feed your child’s oral bacteria and increase the risk of decay.  Sugars in drinks become particularly dangerous if a child has access to a bottle or sippy cup that they can keep drinking from over a long period of time, because their teeth are constantly exposed to more sugar.

This is such a common problem that it has actually earned its own name: baby bottle tooth decay, or bottle rot.  We are not suggesting a total ban on all sugary drinks, but the less time your child’s teeth are exposed to them, the better.  Sugary drinks are much safer for teeth when consumed quickly at mealtimes.  If a sippy cup or bottle is the only thing that helps your child fall asleep at naptime and bedtime, then the healthiest option for their teeth would be to fill it with water.

Sugary Snacks And Candy

Sugar does not have to be in liquid form to cause trouble for the teeth, which brings us to our next oral health danger for children: snacks.  Everything from candy to healthier options like cheese and crackers contains sugar.  Every time we eat, our saliva needs at least half an hour to wash away all the remnants of the food, but when children have access to snacks all the time, their mouths never have a chance to recover.

So just like with sugary drinks, it is best to consume sugary foods during mealtimes instead of nibbling on them throughout the day.  Cutting back on treats with the most sugar, like candy, is also a good choice for dental health.

What Parents Can Do

Apart from cutting down on juice-filled sippy cups and sugary snacks, there is a lot that parents can do to ensure that their children remain cavity-free.  The most important thing is to teach them how to effectively brush and floss their teeth and help them get to a point where it becomes a routine rather than a chore.  Giving them a toothbrush and toothpaste they like will make this easier.  Also, avoid doing things that will spread bacteria, such as sharing spoons or cleaning a dropped pacifier with your own mouth.

The Role Of Your Child’s Dentist

Even if you are already doing everything in this post with your children, sometimes a cavity will still appear.  Do not get discouraged!  Everyone’s teeth are different, which is why the final crucial thing you can do as a parent to help your child keep their teeth healthy is bringing them in to see us for cleanings and dental exams!

Keep up the good work raising kids with great oral health!


Top image by Flickr user Upsilon Andromedae used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

EVERYONE LOVES A good sweet snack once in a while.  Unfortunately, that includes the bacteria in our mouths.  Those little germs’ favorite food in the world is sugary treats, and the more sugar they get, the more they put our teeth at risk of tooth decay.  So how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without giving your harmful oral bacteria a treat?  By snacking healthy!

A Few Healthy Treats To Enjoy

Sometimes it seems like the healthy snacks are the ones that take longer to make or cost more, but that is not always true!  So before you reach for that jelly-filled doughnut or bowl of ice cream, take a look at some of these quick, affordable, tasty options that are better for your teeth:

  • Coconut whipped cream with strawberries.  Coconuts are exceptional bacteria killers and they can also reduce the amount of plaque build up.  Strawberries are great for scrubbing away plaque too!  Coconut whipped cream is a great substitute for dairy whipped cream because it is low in sugar and high in healthy fats.
  • Frozen dark chocolate bananas.  This treat is great because bananas are full of important nutrients that help keep teeth and gums strong, and dark chocolate is good for your teeth too.  You could also switch things up and put the coconut whipped cream on the bananas and the dark chocolate on the strawberries!
  • Fruit smoothies with yogurt and applesauce.  Toss your favorite fruits in a blender, but instead of adding sugar or ice cream, use unsweetened applesauce and frozen yogurt for a refreshing smoothie that is low in sugar!
  • Yogurt and granola.  Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics.  Crowd out that harmful bacteria in your mouth with the good bacteria in yogurt.  Yogurt is also a great source of calcium for building strong teeth.
  • Fruit Bowls.  You can never go wrong by throwing together a bowl of berries and sliced fruit.  While fruit does contain natural sugar, eating it whole is much healthier than drinking fruit juice (which is not much better for your teeth than soda).  The fiber in the whole fruit makes it harder for the sugar to reach your teeth (or your digestive system!), and you get all the great vitamins too!

Want More Healthy Snack Ideas?

If you like these healthy treats and want more, we can help you find them!  From sugar substitutes in baking to easy on-the-go snacks, we have you covered!  And do not forget to keep up your other good oral health habits, such as brushing twice daily for two minutes, flossing, and scheduling those regular dental appointments!

And do not worry, we have sweet teeth too!


Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.