Your child is what they eat...

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Can limiting which foods your child eats increase the likelihood of a healthy mouth? Can it be that simple? Yes, it can.

Tooth decay, otherwise known as early childhood caries, is the most common chronic infectious disease among children. Why? When you eat, food passes over gums and teeth that are covered with plaque bacteria. With the aid of sugar, these bacteria produce acids that break down the enamel of teeth. And that causes tooth decay.

The most obvious culprits are foods and beverages high in sugar, such as candy and carbonated soft drinks. More sugar in a product causes more acid to be generated; the more acid, the more negative impact on tooth enamel. Worse, soda contains a high level of phosphorus that further contributes to the weakening of tooth enamel and can cause staining.

However, it is not just candy and soda. Any food high in carbohydrates with the potential to leave particles can contribute to poor tooth health. Additionally, foods high in acid, such as citrus fruits, have a negative effect on tooth enamel if they remain in the mouth for a prolonged period of time.

Ultimately, it is your job to instill healthy habits in your children. Giving them a strong foundation in healthy eating is one of the best gifts you can offer. Besides the myriad of other health benefits it can bring about, healthy eating all but guarantees a healthy mouth.

Start building that foundation today. If you have any questions, we can answer them at your child’s next checkup.