These junk foods can actually help with your child’s oral health:
- Chew gum with xylitol. It helps reduce bacteria which lead to tooth decay. A few pieces of a gum leave no plaque-causing sticky residue, changes the chemistry in your child’s mouth and can actually help keep cavities away.
- Cinnamon flavored gum. Cinnamon helps to reduce bacteria in your child’s mouth. So gum like Orbit Cinnamon flavor may very well help inhibit growth of cavity causing bacteria.
- Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies. These treats stimulate saliva, which prevents dry mouth. A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities.
- Dilute the sugars. Add water to the juice and crunch to the diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery and cucumbers have high water content, which helps dilute the sugar and wash away food particles.
- Sip sugary drinks through a straw. This helps your children to limit the amount of contact the sugar has with the teeth.
- Foods that provide calcium and phosphates. Yogurt, milk and cheese can strengthen the tooth’s surface.
- Raw nuts. These provide calcium and phosphates that can strengthen the tooth’s surface.
Some junk foods that can cause tooth decay in children:
- Gummy vitamins. Many children consume their sweet or gummy vitamins after they brush their teeth, so the sugar remains on their teeth all morning.
- Sour candies. High acid levels in these treats can break down tooth enamel quickly.
- Sticky foods. Foods like Skittles, Starburst candies, gummies and dried fruits linger on the teeth, giving the bacteria extra time to cause damage.
- Long-lasting sugars. Lollipops, sucking candies and cough drops allow the sugar to remain in the mouth for a prolonged period.
- Starchy foods. Foods like French fries, white bread and pretzels easily lodge between teeth and are quickly converted to sugar by the pre-digestive saliva.
- Acidic foods and drinks. Such as soda and fruit juices eat away the healthy enamel of teeth.
- Drinking from a bottle. When children drink from a bottle, the liquid sloshes around their teeth and gums, and any drink with sugar in it will increase the chance of decay. So only put milk and water in a bottle. At bedtime, it’s especially important to put only water in the bottle. That’s because prolonged exposure to the sugars in milk can cause cavities too.