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McLean Family Dentistry

Don’t Take It Personally Moms! Your Child Has Cavities

There’s almost nothing worse than having to tell a mom that her child has cavities.  I have seen all reactions…denial, acceptance, anger, humor. But the worst reaction for me to see is a parent questioning themselves on whether or not they are doing the right thing for their children. The #1 question…”What am I doing wrong, Dr.Chand??” I can see the tears welling up and just want to hug them and say, “Honestly, you’re probably doing nothing wrong”.

Why then is your child getting cavities when they brush twice daily and don’t eat lots of candy? First and foremost, there is a strong genetic component.  I’m not saying that your child will need dentures like Grandpa Joe did.  But I am saying that certain bacteria thrive in some people’s oral environments more so than others. With the right acidic environment, those bacteria will start attacking teeth.

So what helps create that acidic environment? Great question! It’s not just regular sodas. Sure, sodas have the sugar and can be absolutely detrimental to your teeth. However, diet sodas are just as dangerous. Sure you don’t have sugar anymore, but you have an extremely acidic product which loves to stick to your teeth.  Once’s the attack of the bacteria.

Moms will tell me, well little Joey only drinks juice and water.  Juice is good and can be nutritious, however, in most cases it is no better than drinking sugar water.  Juice companies LOAD sugar into their products so kids will like drinking them.  Just do a comparison on sugar on the back of a juice box and a can of Coke or Pepsi. It’s pretty shocking to say the least.

Fruits should also be something to watch in your diet. Yes, I know. Fruits are good for you and have vitamins and yes…I agree with you.  But please remember, certain fruits such as grapefruit and oranges create an extremely acidic environment in your mouth. Also, those super sweet fruits such as grapes and pineapple…sorry, but those bacteria in your mouth don’t care about the type of sugar you’re eating. They like it all and will attack it all in your mouth.  Please don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t eat fruit because trust me, I love fruit and eat it constantly.  Just make sure you wash away that sugar with some water, or better yet, brush after every meal.

The last thing I want to emphasize is nothing but a party for bacteria to swim in are sports drinks.  Bottom line is Sports drinks=Sugar Water.

I know your kids are in soccer and basketball and swim and tennis and karate and…Moms, I admire you. What you do is harder than any full time job I know of. Just don’t be so hard on yourselves.  Just watch a few of these things I talked about and it should really make a difference. All for now!