Most parents understand that developing a healthy oral hygiene regimen from a young age is the key to ensuring ongoing oral health. This is certainly true, but at the same time, many of these same parents underestimate just how much their child’s diet affects their oral health. This is especially true when it comes to sugar intake. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, but sugar can cause enamel damage much faster and easier than most parents think. Here are just a few smart and sneaky ways you can reduce your child’s sugar intake and prioritize preventative care.
Reduce Juice Intake Gradually
More than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. And while juice is acceptable as a sweet treat once in awhile, your child definitely shouldn’t be drinking it every day. If they’ve gotten used to having juice with certain meals and won’t drink water as a replacement, start watering down their juice little by little until it’s mostly or completely water. Your child is unlikely to notice the change, and they may even start to ask for water and enjoy it. In just a few short weeks or even days, you can virtually eliminate sugary fruit juice from their diet.
Replace Sugary Cereals With Oats
While a serving of sugary cereal every once in awhile isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it shouldn’t really be thought of as breakfast cereal so much as a dessert. Avoid letting your child indulge in sweet, sugary cereals every morning by incorporating more oat-based foods into their diet. There are countless healthy oatmeal recipes online that will leave your child satisfied and full all morning long without a fuss. Don’t hesitate to get creative in the kitchen and kick sugary cereals to the curb.
Cook More Homemade Meals
This tip is all about changing parents’ behavior, not kids, but it makes a major difference nonetheless. If you rely heavily on processed foods from the grocery store, try doing some more of your own cooking at home using fresh ingredients. Processed foods are often loaded with sugar, even if you may not taste it. Today, even sandwich bread contains high amounts of sugar. Homemade meals are almost always a healthier alternative.
Ultimately, understanding these tips can help you keep your child’s oral health in great shape for years to come. For more information about family dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.