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Making Healthy Snack Choices to Protect your Teeth

We all try to make healthy choices when it comes to our diet, but many of the snacks that appeal to children can have a negative effect on the teeth and gums. Sugars are in many of the snacks that children enjoy, even healthy options like fruit. You need to make sure that your children have access to healthy snacks that won’t hurt their teeth and that they brush regularly to avoid the build-up of plaque.

So what’s so bad about sugar?

Bacteria are present in our mouths all the time and can form plaque, a sticky material that builds up on the teeth. When we eat sugar, the bacteria love it as much as we do and eat it up. However, when the bacteria in our mouths consume sugar, they release an acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth, which is how cavities get started. In addition, the more “food” available to the bacteria, the more they multiply. So sugar not only increases the amount of bacteria in our mouths but also increases the amount of damage they can do.

What snacks should I give my kids?

It is okay to have a sugary treat every now and then. If you and your family tend to graze on snacks throughout the day, make sure to provide low-sugar and low-fat options like fresh veggies, fruit, and whole grain crackers or bread. However, our bodies convert food into energy by breaking it down into sugar so good dental hygiene is still essential. Everyone should brush their teeth at least twice a day and flossing helps to remove anything stuck in between your teeth and to prevent the buildup of plaque. Remember to choose sugary treats less often and try to avoid them between meals. It is also important to eat a variety of foods from all of the food groups.

Dr. Bullard helps families from in and around Indianapolis, Indiana to protect, maintain, and improve their dental health. If you have questions or concerns about your children’s teeth, make an appointment for a checkup and a cleaning at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry Indianapolis.