This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation – Cavities Get Around campaign. All opinions are 100% mine.
You may not know this, but you likely have the biggest culprit of tooth decay in your refrigerator. It sits there, disguising itself and trying to look healthy enough to offer your kids. For many families, your kids have it every day, adding more to the problem of tooth decay.
But let’s back track…
For many new moms, dental health isn’t always on the top of the list. We don’t always get clear guidance on when to see the dentist, or how to care for our children’s teeth.
Other times, we assume we don’t have to worry about baby teeth. They’re just going to fall out, right? we might think.
Except baby teeth play an integral role in your child’s oral health. Cavities that form on baby teeth can spread to adult teeth later in life. And as we know, dental problems can be costly and painful. Plus, baby teeth are more fragile and prone to decay.
Healthy baby teeth also determine your child’s adult teeth by guiding them in straight. And removing baby teeth because of disease will likely lead to crooked adult teeth in poor health.
So, what can parents do to prevent cavities?
Offer your children more water and less sweetened drinks.
Think about what’s in your fridge right now. You may think you’re doing all right because you avoid soda. And that’s great, because soda is a huge player that contributes to dental disease.
But what about other sweetened drinks that disguise themselves as healthy? Things like orange juice, which we might offer a sick child hoping he’ll get vitamins. (The better alternative? Fresh oranges. You get the vitamins minus the sugar and calories.)
Or how about flavored milk? Just because your child needs calcium, doesn’t mean he needs the sugar in chocolate milk.
And of course sports drinks. With kids working hard at soccer practice, we think sports drinks give an extra boost. Except nothing beats water, especially a sports drink with as much as five teaspoons of sugar.
You also want to be careful about what your kids drink when you’re not with them. My twins’ preschool sometimes offers them juice. My six-year-old would also get juice if classmates had parties. Knowing how much they already drank juice elsewhere, I’m in no hurry to offer it to them often.
You see, cavity-causing bacteria in your child’s teeth thrive on sugar. With sugar on fragile baby teeth, your child is at risk of develop tooth decay and other dental diseases.
You don’t have to cut sweetened drinks entirely to prevent cavities (although awesome if you do!). But make them as treats. Once in a while drinks you have on occasion, not every day, or even every other day. Rely on good ol’ water for every day drinking. Water has no sugar, and it’ll wash away cavity-causing bacteria from your child’s teeth.
The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation is improving oral health by eliminating the causes of dental disease. Their campaign, Cavities Get Around, encourages parents to lessen sweetened drinks to help protect baby teeth and health.
Their main message? Lessen your sugar. Be aware of how much sugar you’re offering your kids (refer to the examples I mentioned above).
I rarely offer my kids juice, and I don’t give them chocolate milk or sports drinks. So I can tell you that it’s possible to offer kids water all the time. As with any habit, change is difficult in the beginning. But with consistency, your kids will learn to enjoy water and have less sweetened drinks.
Tell me in the comments: What habits do you do to prevent cavities in your kids?
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