Win The “Sugar Wars” With These Tips
We’ve been talking a lot about Valentine’s Day here recently, but February isn’t just about roses and romance.
It’s also national Children’s Dental Health month. Each year, the American Dental Association comes up with a new theme to promote issues that affect the oral health of our children, and for the second year in a row, the theme is “Sugar Wars.”
The “Star Wars” related imagery is sure to get the little ones’ attention – quite possibly even the not-so-little ones in your family will get a kick out of it – but the underlying message is the same as it was last year: Sugar is the number one threat to the health of children’s smiles.
As a parent, you obviously want to do everything under your control to keep your family healthy, happy, and safe – and their smiles are no exception.
When it comes to sugar and kids, why, that’s almost like talking about smoke and fire, or thunder and lightning: Where there’s one, there is sure to be the other.
Specifically, refined sugar is the villain in this saga. It greatly contributes to the growth of harmful, tooth-destroying bacteria, which feed on sugar and can produce acids that erode natural tooth enamel.
If unchecked and untreated, those bacteria can cause cavities and eventually infect the pulp inside of the tooth, which could require a root canal or even an extraction of the tooth itself.
The bacteria that feeds off of sugar also likes to hide inside pockets between the gum and the tooth. If that bacteria gains a foothold in these pockets, then gingivitis and gum disease likely aren’t far behind. As before, the worst case scenarios can involve pain extractions and other invasive restorative dentistry therapies.
You don’t have to let “The Sugar Strike Back,” because there is plenty you can do to protect the smiles of your children, no matter their age – and it starts with a visit to your Milburn family dentist.
Never Underestimate The Power of A Teeth Cleaning
Establishing regular, professional dental health care for your children is of the utmost importance to preserve their smiles for years and years.
As an experienced family dentist, I’ve been preserving those smiles for nearly 30 years in Essex County. I’m passionate about delivering gentle family dentistry care to kids and teenagers, and putting them at ease is my specialty.
A simple teeth cleaning and examination allows me to reset the clock on their smiles, and to detect any issues with their smile before those issues become issues.
I offer a variety of painless treatment options, so there’s nothing to worry about if I need to eliminate a cavity, or treat gum disease. You, on the other hand, have a different sort of job: Home prevention.
I need you to be my eyes, ears, and even my hands when it comes to preventing cavities in the first place, but if you can follow these simple tips, you can help prevent those cavities from ever forming in the first place.
- Reduce or eliminate refined sugars – From sodas to frozen, processed foods, refined sugars seem to be everywhere. However, there is no excuse not to take advantage of the day and age we live in, with healthy, organic alternatives to almost every food product imaginable. Police your family’s sugar intake, or they’ll suffer the consequences.
- Mandatory brushing and flossing – Whatever you have to do, it’s hugely important that your children maintain their own oral health standards. Remember that positive reinforcement works best!
- Emphasize fruits and vegetables – Unless you start your children early in their appreciation of the greener, fresher foods in life, it can be difficult to wean them off the sugary stuff. But no matter how hard they may kick and scream, you’ll not only preserve their teeth, but you’ll make them healthier and less likely to fall victim to obesity or diabetes.
If you can put in place just one of these three simple steps, you are taking an active part in improving the oral health of your entire family. It will save your family pain and the potential loss in confidence over missing teeth, and save you money.
Let’s join forces, and together, we can win the “Sugar Wars” once and for all!