No, it’s not a lie what our parents told us. Sweets damage children’s – and adults’ – teeth. That is why a few dietary tips should be followed from the earliest years:
- All foods supply oral microbes with carbohydrates. The higher the carbohydrate content of the food (i.e., sugar and/or starch), the easier and quicker it is for the pH of the mouth to drop due to the oral microbes metabolizing these foods.
- Eating habits are important but also play a decisive role in the development of caries. If the child frequently eats sweet “treats” then their teeth are constantly in an acidic environment which favours the development of caries.
- For your child to have good general and oral health, they must have a balanced diet.
- Do not teach your child to daily consume “junk” food. Candies, lollipops, chocolates, sweets, chips, soft drinks, etc. should only be given on special occasions such as parties and holidays.
Be aware of the hidden sugar (carbohydrates) in what your children eat:
- read the label of every food before you buy it. Chocolate drinks, sweetened milk supplements, children’s yoghurts and all kinds of children’s desserts most often contain excessive amounts of sugar.
- Apply sensible rules for eating treats: right after lunch is a suitable time as there is plenty of saliva in the mouth to wash away the sugar.
- Offer children fruit, vegetables, or cheese as a snack.
- Remember that the best drink to quench a child’s thirst is water. Do not teach them to quench their thirst with packaged juices, soft drinks, or chocolate milk.