Why Is Sugar Bad for My Child’s Teeth?

December 1, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — kidsmileslincoln @ 7:57 pm
a closeup of a child smiling

Sugar is everywhere; it’s present in almost every drink, every dish, and every snack that you consume. And while it might seem harmless, it can have some pretty far-reaching oral health implications if you aren’t mindful about your consumption—and the same holds true for your child! Continue reading below to learn a little more about how sugar can affect your little one’s teeth, along with some dentist-approved tips for ensuring that their smile isn’t in any danger.

How Does Sugar Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Believe it or not, eating sugar doesn’t actually harm a person’s oral health, but rather, it’s the acids that oral bacteria release after breaking down sugar that are greatly problematic. These acids are capable of dissolving tooth enamel, and if left unchecked, it can spell bad news for both you and your little one’s smile! This means that if your kid isn’t brushing and flossing daily, they’re essentially inviting bacteria to damage their oral health by feasting upon sugar.

Is All Sugar Problematic?

Processed or refined sugar, which is found in things like ice cream, candy, potato chips, soda, and other items that are generally considered “junk food” can be quite problematic for a child’s smile. The concentration of sugars in these items is fairly high, and if regularly consumed, it can lead to dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, or even lost teeth if left unchecked.

On the other hand, xylitol, which is a type of sugar alcohol, tastes just like sugar, but doesn’t contain its acid-promoting qualities—making it an excellent alternative. It’s commonly found in sugar-free gum, mints, and toothpaste, and it can help to prevent cavity-causing bacteria!

How Can I Help My Child Maintain a Healthy Smile?

There are numerous things you can do to ensure that your child isn’t overconsuming sugar, while also maintaining a healthy and radiant smile. Here are some useful tips:

  • Provide a healthy diet for your child that includes foods high in fiber: things like nuts, cheese, leafy greens, and lean proteins can all promote strong teeth, and they often lack a significant amount of sugar. If they can’t help but enjoy something sweet every once in a while, be sure it’s in moderation.
  • Be sure that your child is drinking plenty of water; it’s by far the best beverage for one’s oral health, since it encourages the flow of saliva while also serving as a means for rinsing out the mouth of lingering debris.
  • Encourage your child to remain diligent about their oral health; they should be brushing and flossing on a daily basis, and seeing their provider twice a year for routine preventive care, no matter how much sugar they consume!

About the Practice

Here at Kids’ Smiles on Lincoln, our team strives to provide top-of-the-line pediatric dental care for families in the Worcester, MA community, offering a wide range of services suited for children of all ages! If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to arrange a visit for your child, feel free to visit us online or give us a call today for additional information or assistance. Telephone: (508) 290-0090.

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