Children always reach for sweets. While desserts are great for special occasions, you should moderate your child's intake. An excess of sweets can have a negative effect on their teeth as well as their overall health. Your child's quality of oral health in their early life will follow them into adulthood, so it is important to mitigate the negative effects of sweets on their oral tissues. Regular brushing and flossing and biannual trips to the dentist are a great place to start. There are also steps that you can take during your daily routine as well. Here are three tips for battling the effects of sugar on your child's oral health.
Give your child a glass of milk when they eat sweets.
Dairy products such as milk and cheese help to offset some of the negative effects of sugary snacks on your child's teeth. The peptides in milk help to prevent a cavity causing bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, from colonizing your child's mouth. Further, milk helps to buffer the negative effects of acids on your child's teeth. Milk and milk products are high in calcium and phosphorus. These minerals can replace lost tooth mass, fortifying teeth that have been worn down from mechanical stresses such as grinding and chewing.
Save sweet treats for after a large meal.
Dessert is traditionally enjoyed after a meal; there is merit behind this idea. After eating a large, nutritious meal, your child's mouth is coated with an excess of saliva. This extra saliva helps to temper the sugars left behind by desserts such as cookies, pies, cakes, and candies. The extra saliva helps to keep the sugar residues from sticking to the teeth and gums, meaning that bacteria cannot bond with the sugars to form plaque. It is better to save all sugary foods for after the meal instead of dispersing them between courses for this reason.
Encourage your child to drink more water.
Drinking water boosts your child's oral health while helping their oral health. If your child cannot brush their teeth right after eating sweets, then drinking water is a good step to take. Similar to saliva, water helps to wash away sugar particles that are left behind on your child's teeth. The water also helps to establish pH values in your child's mouth, creating a positive environment for the natural oral flora. Also, tap water is enriched with fluoride to strengthen their teeth at the same time. Find more dental tips here.