Did you know that empty calories from added sugars and fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and teens ages 2 to 18? This directly affects the quality of their overall health and their oral health as well. It’s up to you as a parent to make sure your children have nutritious snacks to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Keep reading to learn why your son or daughter should avoid unhealthy snacks and what you can do to help from a children’s dentist in Bartlesville.
Why Do Children Eat So Much Junk Food?
As stated above, a huge part of the diet of an average child is unhealthy food and snacks. Yes, we know that children typically love things like candy and soda, but their diet can also be influenced by their surroundings.
83% of American schools have vending machines that primarily sell food with minimal nutritional value like soda, chips and sweets. These commonly sold foods found in schools all over America can impact your loved one’s oral health negatively. Because these foods are mostly high in sugars and acids, they will increase the likelihood of your son or daughter developing dental issues like decay and cavities.
A study conducted by the Journal of Adolescent Health revealed that, “In younger grades, school vending machines were either positively or negatively related to the diets of the students, depending on what was sold in them.” In other words, children consume healthy snacks in the schools that provide them, but they will also eat unhealthy snacks if that is all that’s available.
How Can I Help My Children?
The best thing you can do for your children is to make healthy snacks ready and available. If there’s unhealthy food at school, send them to their days of learning with nutritious snacks like fruits and vegetables or foods high in calcium. This will not only keep them happy and full, but it will also increase the likelihood of positive oral health.
Foods high in calcium like cheese, yogurt, beans, eggs, and broccoli are just some foods you can send your child to school with knowing they’re eating well and keeping their mouth healthy. Getting your children used to eating foods like this will not only help their oral health, but it will set them up for success down the road without the bad habit of eating sugary foods or drinks.
Children are more susceptible to oral health problems like decay and cavities so watch what they are snacking on. Along with practicing daily oral healthcare, you can pack and make your loved ones snacks that are good to eat and great for their teeth!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Luke Lumpkin is a native Oklahoman who loves caring for and helping his patients. He practices children’s dentistry services, making Dentistry By Design a one stop shop for the whole family. He is dedicated to not only providing the best dental services for your children, but also giving you and your loved ones helpful advice on how to maintain good oral health. For any questions, he can be reached by phone at (918) 336-6777.