The Sweet Truth: How Sugar Affects Your Child’s Teeth

This blog is for informational purposes and doesn’t establish a doctor-patient relationship. Learn more.

As a pediatric dental office, we know that sugar can be a tricky subject when it comes to your child’s dental health. While a little bit of sugar here and there may not seem like a big deal, it’s important to understand the role it can play in your child’s oral health. So, let’s explore how sugar affects your child’s teeth and tips for reducing your child’s sugar intake.

Sugar is a carbohydrate that is naturally found in many foods and drinks, including fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. It’s also added to many processed foods and drinks to make them taste sweet. When bacteria in the mouth come into contact with sugar, they produce acid that can attack tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Tooth decay is a common problem in children and can lead to pain, infection, and the need for fillings or other treatment. It’s important to be mindful of your child’s sugar intake and take steps to protect their teeth.

Tips to help reduce your child’s sugar intake and protect their teeth

  • Offer water and milk as drinks: Water and milk are the best choices for your child’s teeth. Water contains no sugar and while milk does contain sugar in the form of lactose it is not as cariogenic as other types of sugar. Also both beverages encourage oral clearance, which means they help to clean food particles out of the mouth.
  • Choose healthy snacks: Nuts, vegetables, and cheese are all good snack choices for your child’s teeth. Nuts and veggies do contain a small amount of sugar but since they are crunchy the also increase salivary flow increasing oral clearance. Cheese is the best snack for teeth and an excellent choice for kids! It is very basic with neutralizes acidity in the mouth and it provides fats that children need for brain development.
  • Limit sugary drinks: Soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are all high in sugar and can be harmful to your child’s teeth. Offer water and milk instead and limit sugary drinks to special occasions.
  • Brush and floss regularly: Proper oral hygiene is essential for protecting your child’s teeth. Be sure to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and have them floss once a day.

Want to learn more? Check out our articles on cavities

Dental Care at Expedition Pediatric Dentistry

At Expedition Pediatric Dentistry, we focus on how your child’s oral health impacts their quality of life. We want to make sure your child can not only smile but also have the foundation to talk, eat, and breathe properly. That’s why we encourage parents to be mindful of their child’s sugar intake and take steps to protect their teeth.

We understand that each child is unique, which is why we want to get to know your kids and discover their preferences and interests. By understanding your child’s eating habits we can determine what changes will have the biggest impact on their caries risk.

We also believe in incorporating evidence-based practices into our treatment plans. As tooth nerds, we like to read, research, and follow the science wherever it goes. This allows us to provide the most predictable and successful results for your child.

Ultimately, we strive to make the best decisions for your child by considering our knowledge of pediatric dentistry, your value system, and your parenting philosophy. We believe that this holistic approach is the key to ensuring your child’s optimal oral health.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s sugar intake or dental health, don’t hesitate to contact us at Expedition Pediatric Dentistry. We are here to help!

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