Dietary choices not only affect general health and well-being, but dental health as well! Human breast milk has been found to be superior in providing the best possible nutrition for infants. However, as the child grows, other foods are introduced. Once dietary carbohydrates are given to children, ad-lib breast feeding is linked to a higher risk of early childhood caries (EEC). Unhealthy food/drink choices like surgery treats, sodas, and carbohydrate loaded meals add to this increased risk for tooth decay.
Juices contain a lot sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no juice before age one and no more than four to six ounces of fruit juice per day from a cup. Water and milk are the best drink choices for children. However, only water should be drunk after brushing the teeth before bedtime and during the night.
Snacking and Tooth Decay
Snacking in between meals can increase the risk for tooth decay as well. If your child is a grazer and eats frequently throughout the day, they are at a higher risk for getting cavities. Choosing more nutritious foods to snack on, such as vegetables and low-fat cheese and yogurts, will help keep your child’s mouth healthy!
Dr. Easte Warnick received a degree in Geology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2001. After working as a geologist for Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel SAIC, she returned to school and completed dental training at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in 2012.