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Seven WORST Foods for Your Child’s Teeth That You Must Keep in Mind This Festive Season

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The festival season is synonymous to fun, frolic and most importantly desserts and sweets. No celebration is complete without sweets like laddoos, barfis, jalebis, gujiyas, cakes and tons of soan papdi! There’s no denying the fact that festivals are a free pass for kids who stuff their mouth with whatever sweets they can lay their hands on, making it difficult for parents to monitor their sweet intake.   Even though it is not a regular affair, there can be a lot to deal with if one is not mindful, topping the post festival complications is the higher risk of cavities. Certain foods can cause tooth decay and bacteria build up, washing away your years of hardwork in keeping your child’s oral health in check. Being educated about the worst foods that cause tooth decay will help you prepare and take necessary precautions making your festivities tension-free!     7 Worst Foods for Your Child’s Teeth   These are some of the most tooth-unfriendly foods to keep away from your child:  
  1. Soft Drinks
Carbonated drinks are one of the worst foods for tooth decay, the carbonic acid present in sodas erode the enamel making the teeth prone to tooth decay. They also make your child’s tiny teeth sensitive to foods that are hot and cold in temperatures. Ensure your baby rinses their mouth thoroughly with water post drinking carbonated drinks and brushes their teeth after an hour with mild baby toothpastes.   
  1. Packaged Fruit Juices
This might be shocking to some but skipping sodas and choosing packaged fruit juices is like picking the lesser evil of the two. These “healthy” and “vitamin rich” juices contain sugar in large amounts making them a sore enemy of your child’s dental health. If you want your child to opt for healthier alternatives, give them freshly squeezed fruit juice or sugarcane juice. If they do have a sugary drink, let them rinse their mouth with water after doing so. Rinsing helps eliminate any surplus sugar that sticks to teeth, thus reducing the risk for tooth decay.  
  1. Sweets and Candies
Candies and sweets do wonders for parents, they can get things done their way simply by offering a candy, be it running errands, getting them to eat vegetables or taking them to the doctor. But parents should be mindful of their frequency and restrict it to occasional treats. Any sticky sweet and candy is straight away in contention for the worst foods for oral health. Sweets like jalebis, sticky candies, and dry fruits can do more harm than one can imagine. They stick to your little one’s teeth and become a feast for bacteria which leads to tooth decay. Make them brush their teeth thoroughly after eating candies, gently flossing their teeth can also help remove any remaining bits.    
  1. Citrus Fruits
The acid content of citrus fruits is very high, which is why they are harmful to your child’s teeth enamel. Generally, the more acidic the fruit, the worse are its effects on your child’s teeth. While oranges remain acidic, they are less acidic than other citrus fruits, so they are a safer choice and can be fed to your toddler. If your child loves citrus fruit, you can include oranges in place of limes and lemons in their diet while moderating the damage to their teeth. Avoid dental contact by having your child use a straw for citrus juices. Rinsing the mouth with plain water can then help dilute the acid  
  1. Pickles
Vinegar used in pickling vegetables such as cucumbers, onions, and garlic causes tooth decay. The pH of vinegar is 2.4, making it about as acidic as lemons. Aside from causing tooth decay, acetic acid in vinegar leads to loss of tooth minerals that, in turn, will cause cavities to form. If your child loves pickles alone, you can try adding them to sandwiches and burgers. It is a safer alternative since they will not come in direct contact with the teeth.  
  1. Potato Chips and Crackers
Is there any child who does not like potato chips? They are a universal favourite snack which honestly, are hard to resist even by adults! But how bad can they be after all they do not contain any sugar? Even though they are far away from the sweeter note, these chips are filled with starch, which gets converted into sugar. It’s the stickiness of these starchy foods that enables them to stay on the teeth for a long time. The longer the teeth are exposed to these foods, the easier it is for cavities to build. If they cannot give chips up at least have them brush their teeth to ensure all the particles stuck are removed.    
  1. Popcorn
Regarded as the healthiest munching, popcorn, sadly, doesn’t make a great snack for kids. Those ready-to-eat caramel, cheese and now even chocolate flavoured popcorns must be kept far away from your child’s diet. The only drawback, these little puffers have is that they get stuck under the gum line causing gum infections. The tiny particles that stay stuck for hours cause bacteria to decay the enamel and also results in bad breath. Ensure your child brushes after they eat popcorn so that there are no popcorn kernel fragments left between their teeth.   Tips To Protect Your Child’s Teeth from Damage 
  1. Brushing twice daily, make sure your baby brushes their teeth every night before sleeping so that no food fragment stays stuck for hours. 
  2. To inculcate brushing habits, introduce your child to the practice from a very young age. Get them flavoured toothpastes that are specially designed for kids. This will make brushing time exciting and fun. 
  3. Get your child in the habit of rinsing their mouth immediately after meals.
  4. Monitor their consumption of sticky and sugary foods. 
  5. Make sure your toddler gets lots of water. Water is quite effective in combating acid erosion, it boosts saliva production which helps clean teeth of germs naturally.
  Children like eating a variety of foods that are potentially harmful to their teeth. As parents, we must assist our children in eating proper meals. Having said that, keeping good oral health is a child’s play. Simply adopting healthy eating choices such as , brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist every six months for a standard checkup, and reducing junk food intake are a few easy steps.