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Childrens Teeth and Diet


We are seeing more and more children with cavities in their teeth which are having to be either filled or extracted. This is purely down to the consumption of too much sugar on a much too frequent basis. 


Set about reducing the amount of sugar in your child's diet and you will find this the best way to prevent tooth decay. However, it is how often your child eats sugar (rather than how much) that is important. Similarly, it is how often your child has acidic food and drinks (rather than the amount) that ultimately will affect dental erosion.

Food Labels - Those naughty supermarkets !

We should mention here that the ingredients listed on various food products will often attempt to "disguise" sugar by using other words. Most commonly it will be sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup and fructose syrup that will be used instead. Now fructose on its own is NOT as cariogenic** as glucose or sucrose but fructose syrup is concentrated so it will be !

Food and the tasty stuff that likes to rot our teeth

Keep squashes, fizzy drinks, natural fruit juices, sweets and cakes to a minimum. Don't give your child sugary foods and drinks as snacks between meals or before bedtime. Watch out for hidden sugars in sauces and breakfast cereals, etc.

Fruit, vegetables, cheese and milk are all healthier snacks because they contain natural sugars. Remember, however, that as well as natural sugars, fruit contains acids, which can cause decay if eaten in large amounts. You can help to protect your child's teeth against erosion by finishing a meal with an alkaline food such as milk or cheese. This will neutralise the acid in your child's mouth.

Older children can chew sugar-free gum after meals, especially containing xylitol, as this helps remove bacteria and so prevent tooth decay.

Plain water and plain milk don’t cause tooth decay or erosion. Your child may find it hard to drink plain water or milk if he or she usually has sweet drinks, but most children will get used to it over time. There is also the associated problem of obesity and diabetes that can be linked to excessive sugar intake.

As with all things, moderation is the key word.

**Cariogenic - What does it mean ? Caries is what the dental profession call "cavities". Basically, it is what has happened to our teeth that results in our children requiring fillings.. Tooth Decay. So if a food stuff is cariogenic it means that it will add to the problem an increase the likelyhood of developing tooth decay.