Added sugar is a huge issue with health and obesity, especially in North America, where sugar and its covert siblings hide in pretty much every food you can think of (and many you can’t!) And while many people are preoccupied with how sugar affects their waistline, most don’t give a second thought to how sugar affects their teeth, and the impact can be huge!
While it's completely unrealistic to simply cut all sugar from your family's diet, especially since sugar, and it's many forms (like sticky carbohydrates and erosive acids) are found in foods that are really good for you and part of a healthy diet. Other than the obvious avoiding sugars and eating a healthy, balanced diet, there are some easy ways that allow you to still enjoy your favourite sweets while mitigating the affects of sugar on your oral health.
Avoid sugary foods that stay in your mouth for a long time ie: hard, sticky chewy candies
Limit between-meal snacks - Save thosesugary treats for the end of a meal rather than spreading them throughout the day (increased saliva production during a meal helps keep foods from sticking to tooth surfaces.)
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day and consider a fluoride rinse too. (fluoride helps remineralize enamel and is a proven, easy and inexpensive way to help prevent cavities)
Schedule regular dental cleanings & check-ups for your family so that preventative measures can be taken early before things progress in to a cavity
Ask your dental professional if your kids could benefit from dental sealants (these amazing, inexpensive coatings help fill in deep grooves and can protect new, permanent molars for years!)
So go ahead, enjoy those sweet treats, but do it thoughtfully so you can keep smiling and living the sweet life!