We all know the old advice to kids: “keep your hands off the candy or else you will lose your teeth”. Sugar is bad for the teeth but is this the only reason for the increase in dental cavities in children aged 2-5? It is possible we have missed something or maybe, there is a bit of misinformation here. If there is a decrease in dental cavities in other age groups, why are children in the two to five year bracket developing cavities? The answer might be due to a number of factors including the ones below.
Too Much Sugar in the Diet
Starchy foods are bad for your teeth. Unfortunately, there are too many of these foods on most people’s menu. The most popular options are cereal and bread. Now, some experts claim these foods are nourishing and safe because they are made from whole grains and they contain fiber. However, the sugar content in these foods is definitely on the high side. Another popular food for many people is white rice. To be sure, white rice is not all bad. Rice contains fiber and enhances folic acid and this aids the production of new cells.
However, transforming the rice seeds from the farm-fresh product to the polished rice we all love has some negative effects on this popular grain. Essential minerals and vitamins are lost when the rice is polished. In addition, plenty of fiber is lost during the refining process. Now, this does not mean you should cut out rice from your children’s diet. Just feed them brown rice and you will do them a lot of good. The brown variety contains more nutrients than the white variety and it is better for the dental health of your kids.
Watch What Your Children Drink
Dental experts have noticed a connection between early tooth decay and sweetened milk and juices. There is even a name for this in dental circles: “baby-bottle decay”. The point here is that kids who are fed plenty of sweetened milk and sugar-filled juices when they are young might develop cavities. This is because the sugar in these drinks could stick to the teeth and eat away at the enamel or other delicate layers of your baby’s teeth. As your kids get older, they fall in love with soda and other sugar-filled fizzy drinks. The truth is that fruit juices and smoothies are bad for your kids. Most of these drinks have very few nutrients because they are full of chemicals and empty calories. In addition, the sugar content in these drinks is just too high. Teach your kids to enjoy drinking water. It is safe, natural and protects the teeth. In addition, water does not contain calories, sugar fat or cholesterol.
Give Kids the Right Fruits
Most experts claim fruits are better options for your kids than fruit juices and they are correct. However, you should ensure that your kids get the right fruits. Not all fruits are teeth-friendly. For instance, melons and bananas are full of sugar and the sugar in these fruits can be harmful to the teeth. Safer options for your children are blueberries, granny smith apples, raspberries and strawberries. These fruits have low fructose content so they are good for the teeth.
Taking care of your kids’ teeth is not all about eating and drinking the right stuff. Dental hygiene plays a key role in oral health and it is never too early to train your kids the right way. Teach your kids how to brush and floss their teeth so that they will develop the right habits from day one. In addition, you should teach them how to brush the tongue because this is where bacteria from food particles love to hide (and breed). Again, it pays to educate the kids on the dangers of very hot and very cold food. Both are bad for the teeth and may lead to teeth loss and the result in some cases is poor alignment.
Do Not Infect Your Kids
Children are born with clean mouths and a potentially perfect dental system. Unfortunately, some parents transfer dental bacteria to their babies when they kiss the innocent the kids. Mothers are the main culprits here because they just cannot resist kissing and cuddling their children. Now, there is nothing wrong with showing affection to your baby but you have to know where to stop so that you do not impair the dental health of the child you love so much.
Keep Cavities at Bay
Preventing cavities in children is not rocket science. It is just a simple matter of observing the right rules. Feed your children the right diet, cut out bad foods and ensure they get frequent dental checks. Do all these things and your kids will enjoy fresh, sweet breath and a bright smile for life.