You Are What You Eat
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation;therefore, the more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a major role. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.
Simple carbohydrates start to breakdown to simple sugars after 15 minutes in the mouth. That means that even a simple cracker, if left in the grooves or between teeth, will become sugar. This sugar is fermented by the bacteria in plaque and becomes acid. Enough acid attacks on the teeth will start to leach out the good calcium and phosphates and discolor (white spots) or weaken the substructure. Eventually these decalcifications will cave in leaving behind a hole in the tooth (the dreaded C word...cavity)! Even fruits and vegetables have carbohydrates, as well as natural sugars, that can break down to fermentable sugars, but this takes a lot longer. Unfortunately the stickier the fruit or veggie the more apt it is to become a sugar, so please try to limit raisins and bananas. And be extra careful with fruit rolls as the nutritional value is minimal compared to the high fructose corn syrup (sugar) in them. And of course read the labels on canned foods. Sugar that is bad for your teeth is not very good for the young growing child!
Fermentable High Density Carbohydrates
Fermentable High Density Carbohydrates (FHDCs) are foods that contain that contain hidden sugars. (Over 158 pounds of sugar is consumed per person per year. That is more than 34 teaspoons of sugar per person per day.)
Food list of FHDCs:
- Potato Chips and all other kinds of Chips
- Soda Pop both regular. Diet soda are not considered FHDCs but most contain aspartame*
- Candy any kind [unless sweetened with primarily xylitol (1st ingredient on label)]
- Sports Drinks
- Fruit Drinks (Unless Fresh Squeezed)
- Flour Tortillas
- Muffins, Waffles
- Corn Tortillas
- Pizza Crust
- Donuts and Other Pastries
- Ice Cream
- Figs, Raisins
- Most processed boxed foods, cellophane foods or meals.
*Diet sodas with aspartame are believed by some medical professionals to over stimulate
insulin production which they believe is not good for a persons overall health.