Look at the label of the snacks you are putting into your kids’ lunchboxes. Made with real fruit but it’s not a fruit? Healthy granola bar covered in chocolate? These seemingly healthy snacks are better known to dentists by their real name “cavity in a wrapper”!
Cavity In A Wrapper
Many sticky “gummy bear” type fruit snacks are loaded with added sugar. And if they’re not, the sticky nature of theses snacks with their inherent natural sugars acts just like candy getting dissolved and stuck in the deep grooves of molars that can linger and cause a cavity. Many also contain hydrogenated oils, food colouring and dyes. I know dentists are perceived to only care about what happens between your chin and your nose, but we actually play a very important part in nutritional health education for your little ones. Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Rollups and other such products use deceptive marketing practices to fool parents into believing these are good substitutes for the real thing. Please reconsider packing these snacks in your kids lunches…an apple is much better for us when it actually IS an apple! Plus you’ll be giving your children the added benefit of fiber and potassium.
Diet Coke Can’t Hurt My Teeth… Can It?
It’s amazing to me what my patients tell me sometimes. I have a shockingly high percentage of teenage boys in my practice that drink pop, diet or regular, on a daily basis. Most think that if they are drinking a diet soft drink, that they’ve outsmarted their teeth and nothing bad can come of it…but they’re wrong.
Although I do applaud the effort of cutting down on sugar consumption, my comment to those patients that think they are doing their teeth a favour by drinking diet WHATEVER is…”do you know what the main ingredients in any diet pop are?”
If you are reading this and don’t know, I’ll save you the time from running to your fridge.
1- Carbonated water…not bad
2- Colour…not good
3- PHOSPHORIC AND CITRIC ACID…really!
This will strip minerals from your tooth enamel and still leave you at risk for decay because of the high acid content. These drinks consumed on a regular basis cause dental erosion. This means your enamel, the coat and protective thin outer layer of your tooth, gets thin until in some cases so little is left that you’ve lost height on all your teeth and have extreme cold sensitivity. Exposure to citric juices or lemon infused water can have similar effects on your teeth.
Stick to consuming drinks that are low in acid to keep your teeth from eroding. You will ultimately be protecting them from sensitivity as well.
Hands down, tap water is the best source of hydration for your oral health. Coffee, tea (without added lemon or sugars) and milk are not far behind.
If You Must
But, if you are going to enjoy a diet coke once in a while, here are a few tips on how to downplay the erosive effect
Continuous sipping of these beverages between meals is the WORST way to indulge!
1- With a Meal
Best time to drink a regular or diet soda or juice is with a meal. Your mouth is being exposed to an acid attack during mealtime, so it will give your saliva a chance to neutralize the exposure to acids after the meal is complete. Continuous sipping of these beverages between meals is the WORST way to indulge!
2- With a Straw
Drinking through a straw will minimize the tooths exposure to acid.
3- Chew Gum
Chew sugarless gum between meals. This stimulates saliva to flow into the oral cavity and helps negate the acidic effects.
ENJOY the DAY!