The more reading we do on the topic of health, the more clear it is to us that in light of growing rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers (all of which may be linked to poor oral health, by the way), good nutrition is becoming a top priority in our society, particularly in the formative years. Yet, in our experience, those are the same years in which your children are likely to be tooth brushing-challenged and also the most finicky and fast-food crazed.
Quite a prospect! But from what parents tell us and from what we see in the dental chair, it’s not impossible. Mostly, it’s creating a common-sense plan and then sticking to it. A lot of this you know…
- Choose a variety of nutritious foods from the major food groups – the Nutrition Plate is readily available online at ChooseMyPlate.gov and in schools, libraries, and day care centers. If you have a copy of the old food pyramid and you’re used to it, it’s still a very useful tool.
- Some snacks are obviously healthier than others. Fresh veggies, yogurts, and cheese or dairy substitutes are better than those with high sugar content like candy or mints. It seems obvious to avoid soft, sticky, sweet foods like caramels and jelly beans and beverages like soda, sweet teas, and juices. And yet, it can get tricky…
You have to get into the habit of reading food labels if you want to choose foods and drinks that are low in added sugars which aren’t only found in pastries, cookies, candies, and soft drinks, but in just about everything these days. It helps to understand that tooth decay occurs when foods containing sugars and starches are frequently left on the teeth to form plaque, the sticky film of bacteria on your teeth that you can feel with your tongue. This can break down tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum disease unless it is removed by regular brushing and flossing.So the common sense solution is to…
- Limit the amount of decay-causing foods.
- Encourage your family to drink water instead of sugary drinks, sodas, or sports drinks, especially after a sweet or sticky snack. Keeping the mouth hydrated also promotes saliva which protects oral tissues.
- Encourage tooth brushing using toothpaste twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Visit us twice a year (unless an individual treatment plan indicates a higher frequency) to monitor oral health.
If it’s been a while since you have had your family’s oral health assessed or if you feel you need some instruction on the best home routines for your children, we encourage you to call us and depend on the Drummond Dental team to help you out.© Patient News