06 Oct How to Keep the ‘Treats’ from Playing ‘Tricks’ On Your Child’s Teeth
During the early formative years, your child usually only consumes what you provide. This is the ideal time to help them develop a taste for healthier foods. Allowing a steady diet of sugary snacks and/or beverages is laying the groundwork for the foods that contribute to dental decay and gum disease. Visits to the dentist for preventive treatment like cleaning and polishing are important; having to see your child’s dental provider due to a problem like repairing a cavity might have been prevented.
There are several times during the year where candy and sugary snacks are everywhere … Valentine’s Day (beautiful heart shaped candy with fun messages); Easter (chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs); Halloween (children are encouraged to “beg” for candy); your child’s birthday (cake); and the much anticipated winter holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas (holiday parties often focus on cookies and sweets).
Fresh fruit is sweet and can be prepared in different ways that are appealing to the child’s palate … grapes and berries can be frozen in individual packages that can be grabbed for a refreshing summer treat; ripe bananas can be frozen and then placed in a blender as a substitute for ice cream; teach your child how to make their own popsicles using ice, fruit, and your blender.
Instead of cookies, crackers, chips, and other highly processed foods encourage your child to love treats like yogurt and cheese; nuts and peanut butter are healthy, but beware of allergy concerns; many fresh vegetables already come pre-packaged in individual servings – make them tastier by providing a side for dipping.
Many foods and beverages touted as “healthy” are loaded with sugar (so they will taste good); read labels carefully. Limit soda to special occasions. Encourage water consumption.
As a caregiver, your job is to monitor what your child consumes and keep it as healthy as possible; teach your child to brush and floss daily (provide age appropriate tooth paste); and make sure your child is seen by their dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam.
Your child’s baby teeth lay the groundwork for their permanent teeth; and that second set of teeth need to last a lifetime. Make sure you do everything you can to protect them and keep them healthy.
For additional tips or to schedule an appointment, contact Friendly Dental Care at 740-687-6105.