Hi, I’m Dr. Heather Pranzarone Stratton at HPS Advanced Dental care, located in Macomb County, Michigan. We’re right next to Rochester, Michigan, located in Shelby Township. I want to talk about Children’s Dental Health Month, which is in February. We have a lot of parents that ask us questions about their children and how we can prevent cavities and keep their kid’s mouths healthy. So one of the biggest questions I get is, “I brush their teeth twice a day or they brush their teeth twice a day, why would they get a cavity?” Well good question one of the reasons we know, one of the biggest reasons that we know causes decay is diet. A lot of our patients have very healthy diets and I appreciate that having to small children at home another one on the way. But I think one of the things we all as parents kind of forget or maybe we didn’t know to begin with, is there is a lot of sugar in a lot of natural containing or non-natural products that we eat on a daily basis. So I tell the parents that come here, basically anything that’s not pure protein probably has some form of sugar in it. Whether it’s a complex carbohydrate or a simple carbohydrate it still breaks down to some sort of sugar.

I will say I don’t do this but most people don’t give their kids chicken as a snack that they’re snacking on throughout the day. If you do, great but usually kids are eating maybe crackers or cookies or juice, or fruit, or, milk. Something like this throughout the day that they’re going to be eating as a snack. You know, some of the big culprits that we find with kids are, fruit snacks they usually stick to their teeth significantly and have a lot of sugar in them. It’s usually not the best option. The other one that most parents don’t think about are raisins. Raisins are great and they’re healthy and they’re natural and all those good things but they stick to your teeth and they have sugar in them because it’s a fruit. So something called fructose; so even raisins aren’t a particularly good snack. It’s not that you can never eat raisins, not that you never eat fruit snacks. It’s that you might want to after they get done eating these things, have a drink of water afterwards. Or brush their teeth afterwards, or maybe just not give it to them all the time. Everything in moderation is okay as I always say. You know I think the biggest problem that we have with a lot of kids, and I know my son was one of these culprits, and I really tried to wean him off. I know it’s easier said than done. I always tell my, the parents of the kids that are in my practice.

If you were going to take a sip of juice, for example and you take a sip of juice, and you put the juice on the counter. And the kid walks away, and he’s playing with his toys. Comes back in 20 minutes, takes another sip of juice. It’s basically like having juice in your mouth constantly, and having that sugar bathing your teeth constantly throughout the day. Because one of the things we know about teeth is that when you have saliva in your mouth, which we all have it takes 20 minutes for that saliva to rinse whatever the last food you ate was off of your teeth. So if you take a sip of juice now, you take a sip of juice in 20 minutes, your saliva just barely got a chance to rinse that juice off their mouth, out of their mouth.  We either try to get them not to drink juice every 20 minutes, and not be snacking throughout the day. If that’s really difficult to do, like I said, I have a snacker at home, so I know how difficult that is. Just try and give them a glass of water. Okay?  Have your juice, and then take a sip of water, and that way at least, we’re not constantly bathing the tooth in the sugar. So that is one of the biggest reasons that we find causes decay; even though you’re brushing the teeth twice a day. Mom and Dad, I’m sure you’re doing a great job doing that but that’s just twice a day. We need to be worried about the rest of the day, and their diet, and nutrition. So, if you have any other questions about your kids, your diet or nutrition, cavities, any of those things, please give us a call. We love seeing kids here at (248)652-0024.

HPS Dental Discusses Children’s Dental Health Month