The Effects of Caffeine, Soda and Chocolate on Your Kids Teeth
Did you know that your diet plays a huge role in how healthy your teeth are? We all know that junk food, sweets, and candy can start to take a toll on your dental health, but how bad are they? In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, eating a healthy diet can go a long way in protecting your teeth and gums from infection and candy. We here at Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City strongly advise that you watch what you eat to help protect your teeth from cavities. That includes reducing the amount of sugar that you eat and increasing healthy foods. However, what about caffeine, soda, and chocolate? The answer just may surprise you!
What Should I Eat and Avoid for a Healthy Smile?
A healthy smile starts at home, with a healthy diet and a good oral health regimen. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing nightly, plus using an antibacterial mouthwash, can go a long way in preserving your dental enamel and keeping your teeth healthy and strong. However, brushing and flossing are only one piece of the puzzle. Making sure you eat a healthy diet is also key to protecting your teeth from decay.
Not all foods are created equal. Eating a variety of healthy foods is important for your oral health. A diet high in Vitamin K and Vitamin D, for instance, can encourage a healthy mouth. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy green plants and vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli. A diet rich in dairy will give you a good amount of calcium, which is not just for strong bones but also strong teeth! This mineral is vital to having strong enamel and can be found cheese, milk, and yogurt.
What foods should you avoid, however? Sugar is one of the worst things you could eat when your dental health is concerned. Not only is sugar highly acidic, which can weaken your enamel and make you more prone to tooth decay, but it also feeds the bacteria in your mouth and can make them grow faster. If you have ever felt that “fuzzy” feeling on your teeth at the end of the day, then you have felt plaque, a layer of bacteria that is building up along your gumline. Avoid soda at all costs, including diet soda, because the acid in it can be dangerous to your teeth.
Not all caffeine is created equal. The caffeine in soda, for instance, needs to be avoided. Coffee can stain your teeth, too. However, not all caffeine is bad. Even though coffee can stain your teeth, it contains an alkaline enzyme that can protect your teeth and prevent bacteria from forming. Black tea is surprisingly high in fluoride, which is great for your teeth! On the downside, though, it can also cause unsightly stains. Do not add sugar to your coffee or tea, and make sure you brush your teeth a half hour after drinking it to avoid stains.
Lastly, we need to talk about chocolate. If you are feeling a little bit nervous about our advice about this delicious dessert, then take a deep breath because... chocolate is fine, in moderation! Avoid sugary sweet chocolate candy and reach for dark chocolate instead. Chocolate is full of important minerals that cannot only fight bacteria in your mouth but also provide your teeth with vital nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus that can keep your teeth strong and healthy.
To learn more about eating a healthy diet for a beautiful smile, or to schedule a dental exam with cleaning at our office, give us here at Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City a call today at 971-470-0045!