Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria help form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started. If you don’t eat much sugar or clean your mouth immediately after, the bacteria can’t produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.
Eating healthy and nutritious snacks are not only good for your overall health, but a few of of them can actually help your teeth while you are eating them! Eating raw fruits like apples, pears, pineapple and oranges are great examples of healthy fruits that provide less food for bacteria. Raw vegetables like broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes are also really good you and your teeth!
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren’t so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth. We know it is hard to keep kids away from these foods, especially when being used as a reward, but minimizing snacking on damaging foods to mealtime and excellent oral hygiene practices can minimize damages. This will keep your children able to eat comfortably and wanting to smile all the time!