Healthy foods for teeth
High-sugar foods and frequent eating are clearly linked to tooth decay. Try substituting fresh fruit and vegetables for sweetened prepared foods.
Help children preserve their teeth by avoiding or limiting:
- sweet drinks
- sugared gelatin
- sweetened, canned fruit
Facts About Sugar and Teeth
Here are some important facts about sugar and teeth:
- Natural sugars (such as maple syrup and honey) are just as harmful to teeth as refined sugar.
- Sticky sweets (such as caramel) are particularly harmful because they remain on the teeth longer than other sweets.
- Eating a sweet all at once is better than eating one over a period of time (such as a lollipop) or eating sweets often (such as mints or hard candies throughout the day).
- Sweet sticky fruits, such as raisins and dates, should be eaten with a meal.
- Because teeth are attacked by the decay process each time food is put in the mouth, frequent eating or snacking continuously (grazing) can cause problems.
- Tooth brushing or rinsing with water after eating reduces the time teeth are exposed to the decay process.
- Babies shouldn’t be put to bed with a bottle. Prolonged feeding can result in serious tooth decay. (Putting babies to bed or in a lying-down position with a bottle also increases the risk of ear infection and choking.)
- Milk, formula, sweetened liquids, or fruit juices all contain sugars.
- Whenever possible, give children water to drink instead of fruit juices or sweetened liquids.
- Rewarding good behavior with candy or other sweets teaches children to reward themselves with sugary foods.