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Child Nutrition

Nutrition for your Child

While proper dental hygiene and routine dental visits with a dentist are important for taking care of your child’s teeth, much of your child’s dental health will be determined by his or her healthy and well balanced diet.

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The Dangers of Sugar when it comes to Dental Health

The leading cause of cavities is sugar consumption and most children have a sweet tooth so the amount of sugar that is consumed by your child should be closely monitored. Sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth and forms a mild acid. This acid eats away at the hard, outer layer of the teeth (enamel) and causes holes to develop, which are what cavities are.

It’s not even the amount of sugar but also how often your child is eating it. The body can repair itself after sugar has been consumed, and if the teeth are being brushed regularly, but it takes time. If your child is eating sugar at meals, and in between meals, the mouth may never fully heal from the sugar consumption and more cavities will likely develop.

Here are some Tips to Reduce Sugar in your Child’s Diet

  • Brush your child’s teeth before bed and after his or her last beverage and do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. Milk contains lactose, which is a type of sugar and when children sleep they do not produce saliva, which cleans and protects teeth. So this is a very bad combination.
  • You can give your child biscuits, fruits, pasta and snacks but you must clean your child’s teeth twice a day to ensure that lingering sugars are not causing damage to your baby’s teeth.
  • Give your child water to drink in between meals. Not only is this a good habit to develop but it contains no sugar and is perfectly safe for your child to drink at any time. Cooled down boiled water can be a very comforting alternative to a bottle at night.

A FEW EXAMPLES OF WAYS THAT SUGAR CAN BE AVOIDED

The Importance of Looking on Labels

  • Read food labels to see if there is a lot of sugar in the foods that you are purchasing. If sugar is first in the list of ingredients, the food is made primarily of sugar, and this is likely not the best choice for your child’s nutrition.
  • Look on labels for other names for sugar: lactose, fructose, corn syrup, corn sweeteners, sucrose, honey, maple syrup and molasses. These are all other names for sugar and should be avoided in your child’s regular diet.

Sugar Free Variations

  • Many liquid medications such as cough syrup also contain sugar to make it more appealing to take. Check the pharmacy or ask your doctor about sugar free variations.
  • Start to offer your child more vegetables than fruit so they develop a taste for savoury foods over the sweet ones.

These are a few examples of ways that sugar can be avoided. This is ideal for providing a well balanced and healthy diet that is great for overall health and the dental health of your child.To book an appointment with a dentist call the Chapnick Dental Office today.

We are a Family Friendly Practice

At Chapnik Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.

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For inquiries please contact drchapnick@chapnickdental.com

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