February 28th, 2019
Did you know that tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions for children in the United states? About 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated cavity and approximately 42% of children 2 to 11 have had a cavity on their baby tooth. Sadly, the number of children with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for those children from low-income families.
The good news is that cavities are 100% preventable! So why do kids have such an alarming rate of dental disease? Partially, parents have been told for years that kids should brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily to prevent cavities. While this is great advice, this alone is inadequate to prevent cavities for the majority of kids. So what is the answer?
Diet is the secret to cavity prevention! Diet trumps brushing and flossing, and the proper diet will help your child avoid frequent visits to the dentist. If you floss your child’s teeth twice a day but let him drink chocolate milk all day or snack on crackers all day, your child will still get cavities. However, if you eliminate or decrease processed foods in your child’s diet and your child only eats whole foods and mostly low-carbohydrate snacks, you could never floss and still achieve zero cavities. Toddlers who sip on water all day and only drink milk with meals are significantly less likely to get cavities compared to a toddler who sips on juice or milk throughout the day. Frequency of simple carbohydrate consumption is far more important than quantity. Sure, your child can enjoy all the snacks they love: goldfish, crackers, candy, ice cream, etc. However, if they are snacking on those things all day then you might be setting yourself up for more frequent visits with the dentist. Check out our snack guide below for foods that are less likely to cause cavities
|Foods that won’t cause cavities:||Foods that won’t cause cavities:||Food that (usually) won’t cause cavities:|
Obviously, brushing and flossing is very important! However, combining good brushing and flossing habits with healthy food choices will almost guarantee your child will remain cavity free. Remember, that cavity prevention starts at the grocery store! Our goal at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry is to empower our patients with the knowledge and tools to create ideal oral health at a young age in order to eliminate dental disease! If you have any questions about the role of diet and cavities you can give us a call (530) 550-9311 or send us an email to info@truckeepediatricdentistry. We would love to talk with you!