If you’re a parent, you’re probably well aware by now of the effects sugar can have on your health. You’re probably also quite aware of just how difficult it can be to keep your child’s sugar intake in check. When you always have to juggle a busy schedule that’s maxed out by work and home life responsibilities, eating on the go more often than you’d like can sort of go with the territory. That can make it really challenging to consistently make the best dietary choices.
Sugar is one of the biggest contributors to cavities and tooth decay, especially in children. The fact that sugar, in some form or another, is in almost every packaged, processed food and beverage available only makes it harder for parents to know which ones are less threatening to their child’s oral health.
That’s why our team at Matthew J. Cavendish, DDS in Phoenix, AZ wants to share a few pointers that will hopefully help parents just like you design a strategy for taming your kid’s sweet tooth before it leads to a decayed tooth! With a little planning, you can help your family maintain good oral health, even while you’re on the go!
Tips for Taming The Sweet Tooth
Pack Healthy Snacks
Let’s be realistic. During the week, family dinner sometimes takes place in the car. It just does. This is no lecture, parents! Our Phoenix dental office is a judge free zone. We’re parents, too, so we understand that no matter how much you try to plan ahead, sometimes dinner is passed to you through your car window just before you brave rush hour traffic trying to get across town in time for your kid’s game.
It might be helpful to keep a small cooler in the car for moments like this. To give them a healthy bit of energy that will last them through their activity until you can get home for a healthier meal, fill some plastic baggies with crunchy fruits and vegetables. Be sure to include a few bottles of water in the cooler so you won’t be tempted to reach for a sugar-filled sports drink. Chomping on celery sticks, carrot sticks, and apple slices are a much healthier alternative and will encourage saliva production that their mouths need to naturally wash away food particles and sugars left behind after eating.
Sip Through A Straw
Studies have shown that opting for a straw instead of drinking straight from a bottle or glass can help those sugary fluids move quickly along with without having the chance to linger in your mouth and get cozy. You can help your kids maintain a whiter smile and protect their tooth enamel at the same time.
Try a Stick of Sugarless Gum
Kids can be quite persuasive. On top of that, the more exhausted you are at the end of the workday seems to add to their special powers of persuasion! It can be easy to give in during those quick stops at the gas station when the kids spot all their favorite sugar-packed treats and beg you mercilessly for them.
Opt for sugarless gum. Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum can actually be good for your teeth because they contain non-cavity causing sweeteners and help you produce saliva, which again, is good for protecting your tooth enamel. So keep a stash of sugarless gum on hand, remembering to have a couple of fun flavor options that the kids will see as a treat rather than a consolation prize!
Bring Your Kids to Our Phoenix Dental Office!
These tips are great for helping to protect your child’s teeth from cavities and tooth decay, but they’re just a start. You also want to make sure you bring them to our kid-friendly team of dental professionals at Matthew J. Cavendish, DDS for routine dental cleanings and exams at least twice a year.