Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile

<b>Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s hard to turn on the television without hearing about sodas in schools and unhealthy school lunches contributing to rising childhood obesity. But a sugar-heavy diet does more than expand waistlines. Even children at healthy weights can experience tooth decay.

When children eat sugar, they’re not the only ones to get a meal. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth. As the bacteria consume the sugar, they produce an acid that causes cavities. And while some sugary culprits prove easy to identify — soda and candy, for example — children may also consume sugar when they eat burgers, orange juice or pizza.

The bacteria in the mouth do not distinguish between refined table sugar and the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables, so forbidding all sugary foods would deprive children of important nutrients. That said, parents can take steps to minimize the damage caused by their children’s diets by following these tips:

* Brush children’s teeth after every meal and snack. Immediately removing sugar from the mouth gives it less time to feed bacteria. If you can’t brush your children’s teeth right away, ask them to drink water to flush away some of the sugar.

* Use probiotics. The mouth is supposed to contain certain bacteria, but a sugary diet helps bad bacteria overtake the mouth. Children can restore healthy levels of good bacteria with an oral care probiotic, such as EvoraKids (www.MyEvoraKids.com) probiotic chews. High numbers of good bacteria will give bad bacteria less surface area to grow. Even if a child eats sugar, there won’t be enough bad bacteria to use that sugar to create an acid challenge for teeth.

* Serve sweets with meals. Slowly sipping on a soda throughout the day does far more damage than a soda consumed all at once and with a meal. Continually drinking or snacking on sugary foods gives teeth a constant sugar bath.

* Choose sweets carefully. Not all sweet foods cause the same amount of damage. Foods that stick to the teeth, like taffy, caramel and raisins, feed bad bacteria longer than sweets that quickly leave the mouth. And while fruits like apples and pears do contain sugar, they also stimulate cleansing saliva, so eating these fruits helps protect teeth.

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