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A Pediatric Dentist Explains What Sugar Can Do to Your Child’s Teeth
Excessive sugar consumption is one of the most notable contributing factors to childhood cavities. Read on to learn for recommendations from a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists recommend that parents limit the amount of sugar their child consumes, along with taking other oral health precautions and helping their child practice good oral hygiene daily.
A pediatric dentist explains how sugar affects a child’s teeth
The fact is that most kids love sweets, and having a cookie once in a while is typically not going to cause a cavity. However, it is important for parents to understand why pediatric dentists recommend parents limit how much sugar their child consumes for oral health reasons. This review discusses how sugar can affect your child’s teeth.
The effects of sugar on children’s teeth
Sugar is a carbohydrate. Like some other carbohydrates, the molecules in sugar can combine with saliva and bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth. When this occurs, it produces an acidic reaction that breaks down dental enamel, which is the hard, outermost layer of teeth. So, in other words, sugar and bacteria combined have the power to break down enamel and cause cavities as well as harm gum health.
How much sugar is okay for my child’s teeth?
Low levels of sugar consumption through foods and beverages should not harm your child’s teeth as long as they get the oral care they need via brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use. Pediatric dentists generally recommend limiting children to less than 30 grams of sugar per day. This can be accomplished by checking nutrition labels on all foods and drinks they consume or ingredients that are used to make meals at home.
How can I protect my child’s teeth between check-up visits?
Parents can protect their child’s teeth between pediatric dentist visits by ensuring their child brushes their teeth several times per day, flosses at least once a day, and uses mouthwash as directed by their pediatric dentist, in addition to limiting the consumption of sugar. If any concerns develop, such as tooth discoloration or the formation of small holes on the teeth, then it is important to schedule a visit with their dentist. If there are no noticeable concerns, then children only require a check-up every four to six months.
What preventive pediatric dentistry services can help prevent cavities?
In addition to good at-home oral hygiene, pediatric dentists can also offer preventive services to minimize the risk of childhood cavities. Perhaps the main way they can do this is by protecting the most vulnerable areas, which are the grooves of premolars and molars. To protect these areas, pediatric dentists often recommend dental sealants. Fluoride treatments may help strengthen enamel and reduce the risk of cavities as well.
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