Frequent snacking can be your child’s teeth’s biggest enemy. Just as important as what kinds of foods he eats, is when and how often he snacks. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths! When this bacteria meets up with sweet foods, beverages, or starchy foods, like crackers or pretzels, acid is created in your child’s mouth. This plaque attack can last as long as 20 minutes. During this time, the acid is attacking tooth enamel, making it weak. This is how cavities can start.
Fighting Back Tooth Decay
It’s better to eat the snack at once. Eating 5 pieces of a snack at 1 time exposes your child’s teeth to possible tooth decay 1 time for approximately 20 minutes. Eating those same 5 pieces at 5 different times exposes their teeth to possible decay for approximately 100 minutes ! It is also better to eat some of their favorite foods as part of a meal rather than as a snack. There is more saliva in your child’s mouth during meals and saliva helps fight cavities as well !!
Sucrose: Refined sugar that is the most cavity producing type of sugar because of the way it is metabolized by decay causing bacteria.
Fructose: The sugar found naturally in fruits. It is easier to digest than sucrose because it does not need insulin in order to get to the liver and other cells. Fructose is also 70 % sweeter than sucrose, so it takes fewer calories to achieve the same sweetness.
The earlier you introduce naturally sweetened foods to your child, the more readily they will be accepted.
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