Many parents believe that if their child brushes twice a day, they won’t have many cavities. This is a good first step, but brushing is not enough by itself. A new study released earlier this year looked at tooth decay in children who brushed regularly. As it turns out, the diet of the child had a huge impact on tooth decay, even though the children in the study brushed their teeth at similar times of day.
Why brushing is not enough
About 4,000 children in preschool were involved in the study, which found a strong link between the snacking habits of the child and the amount of tooth decay. Snacking throughout the day increased tooth decay compared to children who stuck to regular interval meals. The culprit is clear – snacking frequently on sugary foods and drinks coats the teeth in sugar, which stays on the teeth and causes decay throughout the day.
What parents can do
First, it is a good idea to limit your child’s snacking habits to two snacks per day. If possible, have these snacks be healthier foods and avoid sugary alternatives. Some parents believes that since a child’s teeth are temporary, it does not matter if they are damaged. This is wrong for two reasons. Your child will be in pain when their teeth are damaged, and they will be bringing bad habits into adulthood.
Parents should be aware that brushing twice a day is not a foolproof method of preventing cavities, though it is a good start. This article is not meant to discourage brushing, as not brushing will significantly increase the chance of cavities. We are just trying to say that parents need to consider limiting snacking throughout the day for their children. As the study suggests, children who eat sweets less than once a day and brush twice per day or more reduce their likelihood of dental decay. No parent wants their child to be in pain and sometimes the solution is as simple as limiting snacking.