Saving Teeth: Reduce Sugar in Your Kid’s Diet
Sugar brings delight to the taste buds and is always fun to eat, especially for kids. The sad truth is, too much of it is bad for teeth, as it contributes to tooth decay. Sugar, furthermore, fuels the bacteria in the mouth to produce acid that wears away the enamel. This makes it even more important to limit the amount of sugar your kids eat.
Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry, a kids’ dentists in Lehi share a few recommendations for reducing sugar in your child’s diet:
- Watch out for added sugars. Always read labels and be wary of added sweeteners like white sugar and corn syrup. The natural sugars in milk, fruit and other healthy foods are not much of a concern. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), kids should not consume more than six teaspoons of added sugar daily.
- Say no to soft drinks. Soda should never be an everyday drink, as it is loaded with sugar and calories that can lead to tooth decay weight gain. The same is also true for sugary and other carbonated beverages. Note that the acidity of these drinks can also erode the enamel over time.
- Drink juice wisely. Juices are also high in calories and sugar, so water and milk remain the best beverages for your kids. If you allow them to drink juice, younger children from one to six should only consume within four to six oz. It is also not good for kids to sip on juice throughout the day.
- Limit sticky snacks. Dried fruits and other sticky treats can be worse than regular candy because they linger in the teeth longer. Chocolate and milk are a much better option, as they are easy to wash away. The best choice, of course, is healthier snacks like raw vegetables and cheese.
- Watch out for carbs. Crackers and chips are not just loaded with salt. The carbohydrates in these treats break down into sugar, giving more energy to the bacteria in your mouth. They also linger and stick in between teeth for a longer period.
Take care of your kid’s oral and overall health with these tips. Be sure to set a good example and educate them about the importance of brushing and flossing teeth, as well as visiting the dentist.