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Do Sugary Drinks Affect My Child’s Oral Health?
Sugary drinks, even those seemingly healthy fruit juices, can take their toll on your little one’s oral health, often leading to dental problems, including tooth decay and cavities. Here’s all you need to know about the harms of consuming sugary beverages and things you can do to get your child’s smile off to a great start!
Why Is It Important to Maintain Healthy Baby Teeth?
Your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, so their health isn’t important. Right? Wrong! Those tiny chompers play a vital role in your child’s development. They help maintain the space needed for the adult teeth developing behind the scenes and guide them to the correct alignment when it’s time to come in.
Losing a baby tooth early on due to deep decay or damage can result in the neighboring teeth shifting out of alignment, often leading to crooked teeth and a crowded mouth. That usually translates to the need for orthodontic treatment down the road. Moreover, premature tooth loss can interfere with speech development, chewing, eating, and proper nutrition. Maintaining healthy baby teeth will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy, confident smiles!
How Does Sugar Affect Your Child’s Teeth?
Sugar provides an abundant food source for bacteria, which feast and produce acids that attack and eat away the tooth enamel. That leaves the teeth thinner and weaker and prone to developing tooth decay and cavities. Sugary drinks are known to be one of the leading causes of tooth decay in children.
Sugary Drinks and Early Childhood Caries
Early childhood caries (ECC), also known as baby bottle tooth decay, refers to a condition often seen in young children up to age six. It usually develops due to prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugar, including fruit juices and milk.
The first signs of ECC, which often go unnoticed, are white spots that appear near the gum line. If not diagnosed and treated early on, your child may develop brown spots, holes, or even broken teeth that may require extensive dental treatments down the road.
Maintaining Healthy Smiles
The best way to ensure your child enjoys a clean, cavity-free smile is to limit sugary drinks and encourage meticulous oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water and consumes a balanced, nutritious diet to provide the teeth and gums with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
When it comes to early childhood caries prevention, Avoid placing sugary liquids or juices in baby bottles and never send your little one to bed with a bottle. Encourage using a sippy cup by the time your child turns one. It’s also important to start cleaning your baby’s gums right from the start using a damp gauze or washcloth. When the tiny chompers come in, brush them regularly with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice. Between ages 3 and 6, it’s usually safe to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you consult with your trusted team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry before using any fluoridated products.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry Services in Phoenix, AZ
Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about healthy habits for long-term healthy smiles. Together, we’ll lay the groundwork for a lifetime of optimal oral health. Call us and schedule your appointment today!