The Effects of Caffeine, Soda, and Chocolate On Your Kids Teeth
Establishing a strong foundation of oral health for your child can ensure they have a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. Some new parents may not realize the importance of their child’s primary (baby) teeth. These teeth serve as placeholders for their permanent ones. If a primary tooth is lost prematurely, it can lead to misaligned teeth and eruption problems later down the line. At Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry, we want parents to have the proper education when it comes to their child’s oral health. The following information is designed to help you better understand the effects of caffeine, soda, and chocolate on your child’s teeth.
Problems Associated with Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is in many foods and drinks, but we recommend keeping your child’s caffeine consumption to a minimum, especially if they are younger. Children who consume caffeine are putting their teeth at risk because many caffeinated drinks also contain large amounts of sugar. Too many of these drinks can lead to erosion of their tooth enamel. Kids that often drink caffeinated drinks are also 60% more likely to be obese.
Caffeine is considered to be a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. There is no doubt that caffeine is addictive. If you expose your child to caffeine at an early age, this can lead to an addiction cycle. If your child becomes addicted to caffeine, their oral health will suffer. Because caffeine acts as a diuretic, it increases the production of urine in the body. When more urine is produced, more calcium may be lost, leading to weaker teeth.
Problems Associated with Soda Consumption
It’s no surprise that sugary drinks lead to tooth decay. The bacteria in our mouths feed off the sugars and other simple carbohydrates we consume. As they feed, they produce acids that attack the enamel, leading to cavities. These acids also trigger a response from your immune system, which results in harmful toxins that not only target the bacteria but healthy tissue as well. This can lead to an infection, also known as gum disease, which results in damaged gum tissues, damaged bone tissues, and eventually tooth loss. By eliminating sugary beverages, such as soda, from your child’s diet, you can reduce or eliminate their risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Problems Associated with Chocolate Consumption
Chocolate does have some health benefits, but it also contains both large amounts of sugar and caffeine. Chocolate also contains cocoa butter, which helps coat your child’s teeth with antioxidants that protect them from plaque. However, the high levels of sugar also increase acid production of the bacteria, leading to erosion. The only way to reconcile these kinds of pros and cons is to carefully monitor your child’s consumption levels. While chocolate can be a nice treat from time to time, make sure that it is not an everyday thing. If you are sensitive about the color of your child’s teeth, you may want to avoid dark chocolate altogether.
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If you would like to maintain your child’s oral health call 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000, and schedule their appointment today!