Tooth decay is a dental health issue that affects children as well as adults. While a child’s baby teeth fall out, tooth decay at any age can be problematic. The World Health Organization advises limiting sugar to only 10% of a toddler’s daily caloric intake. At three years old, daily caloric intake is roughly 1,100 calories, which equates to only 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Most sodas and juices contain nearly triple that amount in a single serving!
Sugar alone is the not the issue in regard to how it affects tooth enamel. The real problem is the damage caused by acid. When bacteria in your toddler’s mouth use sugar as their food source to break down into energy, acids are released. This acid then begins to break down the enamel and remove important minerals from your toddler’s teeth. The end result… tooth decay, rot, cavities, toothaches, and tooth sensitivity.
Avoiding sugary substances is the best way to avoid tooth decay, however the occasional sugary treat is okay. It’s important to choose beverages with low to no sugar. Water is the best beverage for children as it helps to wash away bacteria on the teeth and in the mouth. A great way to get your toddler to drink more water is by adding fruit. Fruit infused water adds a great flavor without adding the refined sugars and other harmful ingredients.
While brushing your toddler’s teeth after consuming soda or juice can help rid their mouth of acid causing bacteria, it is recommended to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after consuming sugary drinks. Teeth are sensitive immediately after consuming sugar, and the friction caused by brushing teeth can spread the bacteria. Instead of brushing immediately after, have your child swish their mouth out with water.
A few other tips for avoiding tooth decay if your toddler has an occasional soda or juice include, drinking soda or juice in moderation, dilute juice drinks, use a straw, avoid soft drinks before bedtime, and, most importantly, get regular dental cleanings!
Are you ready to book your child’s next dental cleaning? Call Aesthetic Dentistry in Maple Glen at (215) 643-0666 to schedule their appointment.