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Q. What foods should our family minimize or cut out to help prevent cavities?
A. With the holidays approaching fast, here are some helpful suggestions to help your little ones keep their teeth healthy. When sugar reacts with bacteria and plaque, an acid is produced which causes tooth decay. Here are a few steps you can take to minimize this process:
- Brushing before and after eating candy will help limit the bacteria which the sugar will be reacting to. It is always suggested that children be assisted and/or supervised until it is determined by the parent and the dentist that they are old enough to be completely independent.
- Limit sticky foods and candies. These can include fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, sticky granola bars, and even raisins. Also avoid hard candy as they can break teeth and fillings and, if allowed to melt, can prolong the exposure of the teeth to the sugar.
- Limit drinks which expose teeth to too much acid like juices and soda. Always look for acid in the ingredient list when choosing a drink. Too much citric acid and phosphoric acid will contribute to tooth decay.
- Use fun timers and timer apps to brush for two minutes twice a day. This is the minimum time required to properly remove plaque of the teeth. Help your child floss daily.
- Remember (especially with all the sugar consumed during the holiday season!) to see a dentist on a regular basis to avoid dental problems and to keep your smile healthy.
P.S. Please call 520-886-7575 to set up your child's appointment at our office in east Tucson. We have a super kid-friendly staff and space! Toddlers and young children love our Disney themed playroom and post-appointment goodie bags. Hope to see you soon.
Niloofar Hubrich is a 1996 graduate of University of Mississippi and a 1997 post graduate of University of Tennessee in General Dentistry who has limited her practice to Pediatrics. She and her husband Raymond both practice at Hubrich Dental in Tucson. Niloofar loves reading, cooking with her husband, traveling, and Mickey Mouse.