Giving Your Child Snacks Can Cause Tooth Decay

Content Team

Do you know that brushing your child’s teeth daily does not stop tooth decay?

The result of a joint study of researchers from two universities in Scotland revealed that snacking is a major factor that increases the chance of a child experiencing dental decay by the age of five.

Brushing your child’s teeth twice or thrice daily is not enough, it only protects them partially from tooth decay caused by sugary snacks.

In a study of 4000 preschool kids published in the Journal of Public Health, researchers found a strong association between a child’s snacking habit and tooth decay. Children who took many snacks throughout the day snacked all day tend to have tooth decay when compared with children who their food without snacks. So relying on brushing the teeth of children under five is not sufficient to stop tooth decay.

Other findings from this dental decay research reveal that the socioeconomic status (e.g. level of education) parents affect the child how they handle their child’s oral hygiene.

It is common to see parents trivialize the importance of taking care of the child’s temporary (milk) teeth since it would fall off and the permanent teeth would grow in its place. The reality is that a good oral hygiene is set in childhood.

From the observation the diet and oral hygiene of children aged two to five, researchers found that the kids brush twice or more at two-years-old would likely not have dental decay at five compared to those who don’t.

Dr. Valeria Skafida, the lead researcher at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science encourages parents to limit the sugar intake of their kids because it has a positive impact on children’s dental health and nutrition. This could be challenging for many parents whose kids cannot do without taking chocolates, sweets.

Parents can help their kids develop a good oral hygiene by following these guidelines;

  • Be an example to your kids. You cannot ask your kids to brush their teeth twice when you do so once. If you want them to do so then exemplify it.
  • If your child eats sweets or chocolate once or more times daily, ensure they brush often
  • Make it a fun activity where you show them how you do it properly.
  • Ask your dentist or buy a dissolving agent that turns pink wherever there is a plague in their mouth. Doing this together will encourage your kids to take her dental hygiene serious.
  • Make bubbles with toothpaste while brushing your teeth together.
  • Give them the freedom to choose the colour of the toothbrush they want.
  • Compliment your kids for cleaning their teeth regularly.