Protecting your child’s teeth from cavities is all about creating a daily habit of brushing their teeth and giving them a proper diet.
When it comes to food, it is very important to keep in mind what food is bad for your kid’s teeth and avoid it as much as you can, making sure that you keep their diet diverse.
How Acidic Food Affects Teeth
Acidic foods are the main culprit when it comes to cavities and weakened enamel. They are present in our daily diet, but they are often eaten excessively by our kids, even when we are very careful to provide healthy foods.
Acidic foods contribute to the formation of cavities by weakening the enamel, which is the hard protective layer of our teeth. Children’s baby teeth have thinner enamel, and it will be more prone to cavities than permanent teeth enamel. If the teeth are constantly attacked by foods with a low Ph level, they will eventually show signs of demineralization. After this, they can easily get cavities and often decay starts near the gums, where plaque accumulates.
With some foods like citrus or pickles, it’s clear that they are acidic, but if you are unsure which others are on the list of acidic foods, we have compiled the most common ones you can find in your kitchen:
Soft drinks and juice: even when they are low on added sugar, sweet drinks, and especially carbonated ones will attack your little one’s teeth. Keep these drinks to a minimum and avoid giving them before bed
Citrus fruit – lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit; these fruits are highly acidic and should be combined with alkaline foods when given to children
Tomato: the slightly sour taste of tomatoes show that they are acidic; if your kid loves tomatoes, serve them with non-acidic foods and brush the teeth after eating
Sour candy, raisins: these are put together because of the combination of damaging effects – first, they are acidic, and second, they are sticky and most harmful to the teeth because they linger on them for a long time
Avoiding Decay Associated with Acidic Foods
To avoid damage from acidic foods, you don’t necessarily have to ban them completely from your child’s diet, but it’s important to follow a few rules when it comes to giving them.
After eating acidic food, your child should brush his teeth. However, even if you are tempted to get them in the bathroom immediately after their meal, it’s very important to wait a while before brushing. Acidic foods soften the enamel and brushing too soon can actually damage the teeth more. Wait for an hour or so and let the saliva do its cleaning before thoroughly cleaning the teeth with a brush and paste.
Consume acidic foods with water and teach your child to not keep them in their mouths for too long. If you do give them juices or soda, make them use a straw for it, as it keeps the juice away from the teeth.
Prevention is key when it comes to dental health, and avoiding as many acidic foods as you can is more effective in the long run than other methods.