If we were to ask the average American what the most harmful food for their teeth is, almost everyone would say candy! That’s the first thing we think about when someone says we have a cavity – “how much sugar did I eat?!” But the bacteria in our mouths that create cavities can feed on the sugar in almost every food we eat. In fact, some foods may even be worse for our teeth than the sugary sweets we usually blame.
In an attempt to be healthier, for both our teeth and our bodies, we sometimes substitute crackers and chips for candy. We may not even consider the negative effects that too much starch can have on our mouths! But, while sugar is a very well known culprit for dental health woes, crackers, potato chips, and other starchy foods can cause their own problems. The reason is because of how easily they become lodged in your teeth. When chewed, starchy food becomes sticky, allowing it to stay in your mouth for long periods of time.
It may surprise many to learn that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has decided that starchy foods are worse for our children’s’ mouths than sugary foods. The reason is because of the length of time that starchy food lingers on our teeth. The longer food stays on your teeth, the longer the bacteria in the mouth have to turn that food into harmful acids, causing tooth decay and cavities.
Instead of candy, or starches, there are lots of healthier alternatives for you’re your teeth and your body. Apples and celery can provide the same crunchy texture as chips, but won’t damage your teeth. Berries can satisfy that sweet tooth, instead of candy. Experiment with all sorts of alternatives until you feel like your family has been able to find healthier choices!
As always, no matter your diet, the best things you can do for your oral health is brush and floss twice a day and visit the dentist at least every 6-12 months! To schedule an appointment, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry, located in Parker, CO!