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How diet can prevent tooth decay

How little everyday choices make a big difference.
By CDG      February 1, 2012

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How diet can prevent tooth decay
It’s accepted that we all want what is best for our kids, right? Wouldn’t you like to prevent tooth decay and promote healthy teeth in your children? Children’s Dental Group would like to share tips that will help keep cavities at bay and promote strong, healthy teeth, giving you one less thing to worry about.


Snack Wisely

Snack Wisely
Healthy choices = Healthy smiles
Kids have tiny tummies. While adults may prefer three meals a day and opt out of snacks between meals, few children do. When you’re at the grocery store next time or stopping somewhere for a quick snack, there are three questions that will help you decide on the best snack choices for your child. When you’re considering a snack, ask yourself: Is it sticky? Is it sweet? Is it processed? Even better, teach your kids to ask and answer these questions themselves. To help children remember why sticky may not be best, remind your children that sticky stays. Even healthy sticky foods, like prunes, may be a better food to eat with a meal. Sticky, gooey foods get stuck to teeth, and traces of the food can linger in the mouth, long after snack time is over. This increases the total time teeth may be exposed to decay-promoting bacteria. So while dried fruit may be a healthy food choice, it may not be the wisest snack choice for your teeth. Sugar promotes damaging acids to form every time they are ingested. For this reason, minimize sugary snacks. If it’s processed, it’s likely there is some form of sugar in the product. It is also likely to contain starches. Remember: Avoid sugary and starchy snacks, and keep snack simple. Ideal snack choices include cheese, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt, and water. Cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack are all cheeses that recent research showed to be especially healthy snack choices. These cheeses increase saliva production in the mouth which helps wash down debris after a snack or meal . . . this helps prevent cavities.

Even provided with the healthiest snack choices, pediatric dentists advise that you snack wisely—try to prevent all-day grazing, and limit the number of meals and snacks your child consumes.


Keep it Fun

Keep it Fun
Invite, Involve, Enjoy!
When planning snacks and meals, invite children into the process. Take kids to the grocery store. For some grocery selections, you can provide the healthy choices . . . then allow kids to choose which item to add to the grocery cart. Some families invite their kids to try a new fruit or veggie each trip. Being involved with meal and snack selections often results in kids being more willing to eat what is served, which makes for more enjoyable meals and snacks for all.

While you may not be able to add “fun” to every meal and snack, it’s a good idea to try to sometimes. Try using mini cookie cutters to make cheese stars or other shapes your child might enjoy. Or, allow your child to pick out a new water bottle and keep track of how much water they drank by tracking how many times they fill it up each day. Plain yogurt might not be appealing, but plain yogurt with fresh fruit might.


Save Sugars and Starches for Mealtimes

Save Sugars and Starches for Mealtimes
When you eat matters
Foods eaten at mealtimes have the potential to cause less harm to teeth. Since there is more saliva released during a meal, this helps to minimize the effects of the acids that are produced when sugar is consumed. While the ideal may be to remove sugar from your child’s diet, we all know this may not be practical. But, you can encourage your kids to save sugar and most starches for mealtimes.

It’s advisable to have kids save juice and milk for mealtimes, too. Have water at snacks and all other times. Be sure to check that your child’s drinking water has fluoride. If it doesn’t, check in with your child’s pediatric dentist to be sure your child gets the fluoride needed for healthy teeth.

If you’re not quite sure what your child is eating when, try tracking it. Keep a food diary for a couple of days, and notice how often your child eats or drinks and what she eats or drinks. Use this information to guide future choices. See what changes you could make to help promote strong teeth and prevent decay.


Children’s Dental Group

The Leader in Pediatric Dental Care
We here at the Children’s Dental Group understand the importance of diet in creating strong, healthy teeth. Our staff is knowledgeable about how diet can promote health and prevent tooth decay. Parents and children are encouraged to ask any question they may have concerning dental health. We strive to make every visit to our office a positive and informative experience for the entire family.
As the area’s premier pediatric preventive and therapeutic dental care provider, we pride ourselves in creating top-notch dental wellness in a fun, educational environment. Children’s Dental Group seeks to consistently achieve and surpass the highest standards of care as well as offer advice and instruction to promote a well-balanced diet and proper oral hygiene. 

Choose Children’s Dental Group when you are looking for a pediatric dentist in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. We are constantly referred by our many satisfied patients, who have benefited from our services and experience. Please call our office at 702-220-9100 to schedule an appointment.
By CDG
      February 1, 2012

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