By: Frankie Rendon, huffingtonpost.com
Within recent years, dentists have reported an alarming influx of children — sometimes even as young as 18 months — suffering from tooth decay or gum infection. Often, these conditions require invasive surgery, resulting in the loss of numerous baby teeth.
The statistics are nothing to smile about. In 2014, Australia’s Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne indicated that, of the 1,000 minors who underwent general anesthetics for tooth removal, 178 were aged three or younger.
In light of this startling fact, parents have begun wondering — what is the main culprit of early childhood dental issues, and how can they be avoided? Typically, the answer lies in today’s pervasive high sugar diet. Kid-proven favorites like carbonated drinks, processed snacks and sweet treats can seriously affect a child’s oral health.
When monitoring your child’s sugar intake, which food and beverage items should you specifically include on the no-no list? Take a look at these top five Dental Don’ts, in addition to some wholesome alternatives to protect their pearly whites.
Stay Away: Sodas & Juices
These notoriously cloying beverages contain, respectively, about 40 grams and 25 grams of sugar per serving. In addition, artificially sweetened drinks are often blended with enamel eroding compounds, like phosphoric and citric acids.
Try Instead: Naturally Flavored Water
Entice your kids to quench their thirst with water by adding a tangy, aromatic infusion from sliced cucumbers, berries, watermelon or even mint leaves.
If you decide that juice is still on the table, Dr. Matthew Mullally, an Indiana-based dentist, advises sticking with juices that have no added sugars. “Water it down whenever possible,” he says. “The goal is to cut down sugar content. If possible, limit their servings to one a day.”
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