We have been repeatedly discussing the role of sugar in your children’s dental health. Sugar feeds the bacteria inside your child’s mouth, which then produces enamel-attacking acids, causing tooth decay. Therefore, in order to prevent tooth decay and cavity from occurring, we, as parents and guardians, must ensure that children won’t go beyond the recommended sugar intake.
Aside from regular toothbrushing, flossing and dental visit, it is important to control the root cause of tooth decay – SUGAR. Children ages three and above should have no more than 3 teaspoon (15 grams) of sugar per day.
Below, we share to you five very simple ways on how to lessen your child’s sugar snacking.
Be a smart shopper. When shopping for snacks, take a look at the added sugar such as corn syrup or white sugar that are added on premade snacks. Sugar present in fruits and milk aren’t so worrying, since they are healthy food choices.
In addition, similar products may contain different amounts of sugar. Examples are muffins, cereals, granola bars and yogurt. You can still buy these items but check the label first.
Minimize fruit juice. Since fruit juice contains high amount of calories and sugar, the best option for your LO are still milk and water. Children below 1 year old are not advised to drink any fruit juice, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics. But for older kids, they can drink occasionally, provided they follow these recommendations.
· Kids ages 1 to 6 should only drink 4 to 6 ounce of juice per day. Children 7 to 18 years of ages should only drink 8 to 12 ounces. Most juice boxes contain 6 oz., so little kids shouldn’t have more than one per day while the older ones are limited to two boxes.
· Do not allow your child to drink juice throughout the day as it gives the opportunity of acid-producing bacteria to damage their teeth. Better offer milk or water first.
Skip sugary, carbonated beverages. They are completely bad for your LO’s teeth. A can of soda contains the amount of sugar that is equal for three days for a young child.
Skip sticky snacks. You may think sticky or gummy fruit snacks like raisins are better than candies. Although dried fruit snacks are healthy and rich in nutrients, they are worse than hard candies or chocolate in terms of dental health because they stick to their teeth much longer. When sticky food particles adhere to their teeth for an extended time, bacteria can damage their teeth during that time.
Be an example. Your kids follow anything you do. Setting an example makes a huge impact in your family’s health. If you want to change your child’s sugar intake, do the same thing and they will follow.