Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key when it comes to looking after your overall wellness, as well as your oral health specifically.
Unfortunately, for many people, the cost of healthy food can be an issue. Now, a new study has revealed that the cost of healthy food is directly linked to the level of oral diseases in children. Read on to find out more …
What did the study find?
According to the new study, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, young children who have parents that can’t afford to buy healthy food are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay than children who have easy access to nutritious meals. The researchers found that preschool children who do not have regular access to foods like fresh fruit and vegetables are around three times more likely to develop tooth decay by the time they reach six years old.
Unfortunately, many parents are having a hard time providing their children with consistently nutritious and balanced meals, and this is having a significant impact on their oral health. According to the study, families with low incomes are more likely to buy foods that include added sugar, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks, processed breads and sweet breakfast cereals.
Why is diet so important?
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar are linked to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth reacts with these sugars, turning them into acids, which erode the enamel. We highly recommend that you try as much as possible to eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products. Crunchy fruits and vegetables can also help to keep teeth clean in between brushing, while calcium-rich foods like natural yogurt and milk help to keep teeth healthy and strong.
If the price of healthy food is an issue for you, try and shop for produce that is in-season, as it is generally much more affordable. Look out for sales or local farmers’ markets, and plan your meals carefully so that you buy only what you need. It’s also a good idea to cook at home as much as you can — eating out often turns into an expensive habit.
What else can I do to prevent decay?
It’s very important that you practice home dental care by brushing and flossing daily. A well-established routine ensures that you remove any leftover food particles from between your teeth, and reduces the amount of bacteria present in your mouth. This reduces the risk of plaque build-up, which can lead to decay and gum disease.
We also recommend that you come in for a dental check-up every six months so that we can check for irregularities, cavities, and problems like periodontal disease and cancer. We can also professionally clean your teeth at this time and remove any plaque that may have built up.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition in children and teenagers, despite the fact that it is preventable. For this reason, we also suggest that you bring your children in to see us on a regular basis.
To make an appointment, please contact us here.