In our last blog, we briefly mentioned how a better diet could help little smiles stay free of cavities. In today’s blog, your El Paso, TX, dentists would like to discuss this subject in greater detail. The foods and drinks kids and adults consume can have a major impact on the health and beauty of the teeth and gums. Find out what steps you can take to help protect kids from cavities and other concerns!
What Causes Plaque and Tartar?
The foods and snacks we consume affect how plaque forms and coats our teeth. When we consume items with lots of sugar and starch, these particles can cling to the teeth or become stuck between them. Harmful oral bacteria then has the chance to consume these particles, breaking them down in a process that not only increases the levels of oral acidity, but can also create a sticky layer on the teeth known as plaque. Once plaque calcifies, this becomes tartar. Plaque can weaken tooth enamel, causing erosion and the onset of tooth decay and infection. The layer also inflames gum tissue, boosting the risk of gingivitis in children.
In addition to the foods we eat, sugary drinks such as soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks could also increase the risk of plaque buildup and cavities. Popular sports drinks, which contain a lot of acids, could weaken enamel as well.
Healthier Foods and Drinks
For snacks, offer your kids sugar-free gum, fresh fruits, low-fat yogurts, cheeses, and nuts. Encourage them to drink more water and fewer sodas and energy drinks. For meals, be sure you offer veggies and fruits as well. Many of the rougher fruits and veggies, like apples, carrots, and broccoli, actually help scrub away plaque when consumed. In addition to containing lots of crucial vitamins and minerals, these items also have little sugar and don’t pose a major threat to your child’s smile!
Homecare and Regular Visits
Children also need homecare, combined with a better diet, to offer the highest level of protection against cavities. Kids should start their day by brushing for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste. Before bed, they should brush again and also floss between each of their teeth. Make time to see us every six months as well for a checkup and cleaning, so we can monitor the smile and also remove all plaque and tartar in the same visit!
TALK TO SUNNY SMILES IN EL PASO ABOUT CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE
At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, we offer area kids access to preventive care to protect smiles from an array of serious concerns. If you have questions about dental care for kids you can reach our East El Paso dental practice on 10039 Dyer St., at 915-859-7000!