As a parent, your job isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. You already have the difficult task of making sure your kids get to bed at a decent hour, so they can wake up each morning and brush their teeth before school. You might even try to feed them a healthy and hearty breakfast, but often settle for some sort of packaged treat as they’re on their way out the door. You also have to make sure they have lunch options, ones they’ll actually eat, and likely after-school snacks, as well. Unfortunately, if you are not careful you could be feeding your kids much more sugar than you realize! If you want to prevent dental problems, it’s important to limit their sugar intake.
Why Is Sugar Bad for Dental Health?
You probably know that sugar isn’t great for one’s smile, but you might not know the reason why. Put simply, the plaque bacteria in the mouth that can lead to tartar buildup and eventually cavities, feed on sugar and other simple starches. Therefore, the more sugar your kids consume on a regular basis, the more likely they are to struggle with dental decay.
How Can You Help?
Though obvious sweets, like candies, cupcakes, and cookies, are what most people think of when they hear the word “sugar,” many packaged goods, especially those marketed to children, are often shockingly high in sugar.
Sweetened cereals are a good example, but some of the products high in sugar are even more surprising for well-meaning parents. For instance, many crackers and even some chips have added sugar to enhance the flavor. Fruit snacks and dried fruit are also often packed with sugar. Juices and flavored milks, as well as flavored yogurts also often contain several grams of sugar. Granola bars and sports drinks can be sugar-heavy as well.
So, why not start looking for healthier alternatives to all your kids’ favorite foods? Their smiles will stay healthier, plus they’ll get even more nutrients in the process. In general, stick to whole foods as often as possible, such as vegetables and fruits, which many kids like when presented with them. Lean proteins and healthy fats, like almond butter for instance, can also help to keep your kids full and free of sugar.
Just make sure you read the labels to find ones that contain little to no added sugar. Even with a healthy diet and good dental hygiene, you will still need to visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. So make sure you schedule routine appointments.
Avoid Dental Problems with Key Preventive Care
A healthy diet helps to protect the teeth, but dental checkups and cleanings are also important. To schedule a consultation, call our dental office in Omaha, NE, today at (402)330-2243. We also serve the residents of Papillion, Elkhorn, La Vista, Millard, and all surrounding communities.