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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jason

What you may not know about preventing cavities, with Dr. Jason

Dentistry for Kids is all about education while at the dentist. Dr. Jason wants to help kids and parents learn more about how to *really* prevent cavities. Read on for some tips and tricks!

Remember learning about the food guide pyramid and proportionately planning out what we eat? Do you know which of the outlined food groups can cause cavities? Most would think sugars and candy only. A common question we get in our office is, “I never give my child soda or candy. Why does my child have so many cavities?” The truth of it is, most of the foods we eat have sugars in them. Low to no-sugar foods include meats, cheese, eggs, and certain vegetables. Destructive bacteria on our teeth feed on sugars (or carbohydrates/carbs). Carbohydrates are in bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, juice, vegetables, even milk. So unless you only eat meats, cheese and eggs, your child is going to ingest sugars. If anyone in your family is prone to getting cavities, it is possible your child can get them too. So how do we escape getting cavities?

Although sugars (carbs) and bacteria are key players in cavities, the other key player that tips in our favor or the cavitiy is CONSISTENCY, meaning how often are carbs touching our teeth. Children seem to always be hungry (even outside of mealtimes), and constant exposure without an adequate break creates constant activity. If we can limit the carb containing foods/snacks to as close to mealtimes as possible and eat snacks that don’t have a high sugar content, we will be less likely to get cavities.

Example: Child wakes up, is thirsty, gets milk, eats breakfast, wants a snack, eats goldfish, an apple, eats lunch, child is hungry, eats 100% fruit snacks, juice, eats dinner, thirsty before bed and gets milk. Did this child’s teeth get a break from sugar/carbs? No. And this constant day-to-day diet, although healthy by medical standards, will create cavities.

Consider this example: Child wakes up, is thirsty, drinks water, has breakfast with milk or juice, is hungry has water with cheese and or scrambled eggs, has lunch with milk, child is thirsty, drinks water, hungry, has some ham and string cheese, eats dinner, thirsty before bed, gets water.

Although this can be hard with a strong-willed child, we have allowed the teeth to recover in between each meal. Some people can eat all the junk in the world and not brush their teeth, others brush everyday and still get cavities. But this is how we can go the extra mile if your child is cavity-prone.

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