Many people have a sweet tooth, and at the expense of our teeth indulge far too often in these sugary treats, so it’s important to know the facts. You don’t have to avoid your favorite fizzy drinks and sweets completely, just enjoy in moderation and make sure you clean your teeth and use mouthwash straight after if possible. Much of the dental advice you see from the specialists urge people to avoid sugary drinks and snacks completely, but this isn’t really realistic unless you possess a superhuman level of willpower.
Drinks that Contain Copious Amounts of Sugar
You probably know of the main culprits that contain the most sugar, including some very well-known household names (no names mentioned!) but there are also other drinks and, indeed, some foods that are marketed as ‘healthy’ that are, sadly, anything but. Fruit juice drinks are amongst the main culprits and unfortunately predominantly marketed at children. You will probably know the type of drinks I am referring to, the ones with big bold lettering highlighting the vitamin content but conveniently understating the sugar content. As any dentist on the Gold Coast will tell you, these types of drinks are extremely bad for teeth, particularly when sucked through a straw. Although you will probably let your children have the occasional sugary drink as a treat, it’s important not to let it become more than an occasional treat, ignore the overmarketing of the vitamin content and think about your children’s teeth! The same applies to sugary sweets, particularly chewy bars and lollipops.
Milk teeth do need to last a certain amount of time so it’s important you don’t dismiss the sugar content with the notion that new teeth will be on the way in the future.
If at all possible, convince your child that water is the best possible drink they can have and along with milk should form the majority of their daily liquid intake. We can all see that the fizzy drink section of the supermarket takes up enough floor space to almost convince people that it is a normal component of the average grocery shop, it’s not! If your child (or even you) likes to chew on something, forget the chewy candy bars and slice up some carrot sticks, these have a sweet taste that is completely natural and won’t rot teeth!
Building Healthy Dental Routines
Everyone, but particularly children should be taught the importance of good oral hygiene habits. This includes but is not limited to:
- Brushing teeth at least twice a day – after every meal preferably
- Flossing regularly with dentist recommended floss
- Using mouthwash to rinse
- Twice yearly dental checkups
To conclude, there is no need to totally omit sugary drinks and foods from you or your children’s diets but emphasize that these drinks and foods are treats or only for weekends. In the long run, adopting good dental habits now will reduce the chances of tooth decay and other related conditions in the future.