Even healthy foods and drinks can cause poor dental health.
Fruit juice has been in the news a lot lately, not for the health giving properties of the vitamins they contain, but for the damage they can cause to teeth, and children’s teeth in particular.
Most parents want their children to eat and drink healthily, so, when a child develops a taste for apple or orange juice, most parents are delighted that they have chosen this as opposed to one of the many sugary carbonated beverages available.
Not just sweets
Regrettably, this is a mistake, albeit an understandable one. Although a natural fruit juice does contain natural sugar, as opposed to additional refined sugars (though some may have both), both are equally damaging to teeth. A child drinking fruit juice on a very regular basis is almost certainly going to receive damage to the tooth enamel as the acids weaken it, leading to tooth decay and toothache.
Whilst sweets and other sugar containing foods are also damaging, there is something especially concerning about fruit juices. Aside from the belief that they are healthy, the sticky nature of fruit juice means that it sticks to and between the teeth for long periods of time. This allows the acids created by the sugars plenty of time to do their damage.
In many ways, one of the best drinks for children is actually water. As well as being much cheaper, it contains nothing which would damage the teeth and is best for hydration purposes too. We understand that water may not be the most appealing drink for your children and understandably they will want other things too; but by maintaining a healthy balance and keeping the sugar-laden drinks to a minimum, you really will be helping your child’s oral health. Our dental advice for any parent who does give their child fruit juice to drink, even as a treat, is to encourage them to drink it through a straw. This helps to reduce the amount of contact the juice has with the teeth.
Whatever the diet of your child is like, regular dental inspections for children are essential. These are the developing years, and ensuring good oral health at this stage will help to give a great start in life for their teeth and gums. Early detection of dental problems such as decay means that it is likely that a minor filling only will be needed, rather than something major later on. It is also an excellent opportunity to help the child to understand the importance of taking responsibility for having healthy teeth and for their own dental care in general.
If you have a child, or children, who don’t have a regular Essex dentist, we are always very happy to see them. Please call the Cygnet Dental Practice of Wickford on 01268 733078 to arrange an appointment.