Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it tends to bring with it a lot of treats that may be harmful to your child’s teeth. It usually means candy galore and a lot of sweets from classmates, parents, and grandparents. However, this year consider making Valentine’s Day a sweet treat without all the excess sugar.
The good news is that it’s possible to maintain good oral health through sugary holidays such as this one. The following tips will allow you to help your children limit their sugar intake on Valentine’s Day and keep a healthy and beautiful smile.
The Impact of Sugar on Teeth
The reality is that there’s damage being done that all this sugar is silently doing to your child’s (and your) teeth. Sugar from candy and sweet treats sits on the teeth and gums of your mouth. While saliva does a little to wash away the sugar and stickiness, it can’t get the job done fully, especially with the chewy and gummy candies. Suckers and hard candy are tough on your teeth as well. Cavities occur when bacteria in your mouth digest sugar and produce acid, which weakens the tooth enamel. Eventually, this weakening leads to tooth decay and cavities. Sugar remaining on the teeth becomes food for the bacteria in the mouth that will attack the tooth.
Healthy Treat Options & Alternatives to Candy
We’re not here to take away the fun or say no candy at all. We’re here to let you in on a few ideas that will be yummy to eat and won’t lead to more cavities. Below are a few tips and options you should consider this Valentine’s Day:
- Heart-shaped granola bars
- Flower-shaped fresh fruit
- Chocolate-dipped strawberries
- Whole-wheat heart-shaped pancakes
- Cheese and crackers
- Sugar-free candy
What to Avoid & Tips for Healthy Teeth
Prevention is essential to good oral hygiene and preventing cavities. Below is also a list of what items and foods to avoid:
- Anything sticky or chewy
- Candies that are nothing but loose sugar
- Super hard candies
You can also focus your efforts on caring for your child’s teeth, especially around the sugary types of holidays. For instance, you can choose the right foods and non-candy treats, limit candy to after-meal treats, stay hydrated with water, and brush and floss.
Our team at North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry wishes all our patients and prospective patients a Happy Valentine’s Day. Remember to keep brushing and flossing away! If you are looking for a dental home for your child, we invite you to schedule your child for a check-up with Dr. Taylor.
Dr. Amberlee Taylor and her team specialize in pediatric dentistry for children from infants to adolescents. We are committed to providing the best quality care for your children’s teeth while making them feel as comfortable as possible. Along with caring for teeth, we consider it our duty to educate both kids and parents about how to maintain healthy teeth from the youngest ages.