Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

Understanding the Impact of Sugary Foods on Kids’ Teeth

Photo of candy and teeth

It’s a well-known fact that sugary foods have a significant impact on the health of our teeth. Eating foods high in sugar can lead to severe tooth decay and cavities, causing pain, infection, and in severe cases, tooth loss. It’s important to understand the impact that food can have on your children’s teeth, and the role that a healthy diet and proper care can play in having a healthy mouth and body.

How Does Sugary Foods Impact Kids’ Teeth

One of the main sources of sugar in kids’ diets is from sugary drinks. Fruit juices, sports drinks and sodas contain high amounts of sugar. Drinking these items every day can greatly increase your child’s risk of cavities and tooth decay. Sticky foods such as gummy candies and chewy fruit snacks also contain a large amount of sugar which is in a form that is difficult to clean off the teeth.

Tooth decay is caused by excessive bacteria in the mouth that feed on leftover sugar and produce acid. This acid builds up and attacks the enamel of teeth and over time, will eventually weaken and break down teeth. After being weakened, and wearing down, the soft layer beneath your teeth known as dentin will start to be affected. This leads to cavities and infections. As children are still growing, and their adult teeth are still developing, they are more susceptible to tooth decay and infections.

Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

Understanding what an unhealthy mouth is and the beginnings of cavities and tooth decay is incredibly important. Parents should be checking in with their children to ensure they are following their care routine and should be on the lookout for white or brown spots on teeth, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

The best way to prevent tooth decay is to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily will help to rid excess sugar from your teeth and mouth and will keep your mouth and gums healthy. Regular visits to the dentist are also a large part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Children should begin seeing a dentist after their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday and every 6 months for a check-up.

Restricting the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child eats and drinks will also help to prevent tooth decay. Try offering healthier alternatives to soda and sugary treats, and whenever they do go for sugary picks, make sure they are brushing and flossing afterwards.

Schedule An Appointment with Our Where Smiles Grow Team!

At Where Smiles Grow, our goal is to ensure that our patients have the knowledge and education to ensure they are making healthy decisions as they relate to their oral health! Establishing a healthy oral care routine and creating a healthy balance of sugary foods is key to having healthy teeth! Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment!