How Much Sugar Is Too Much For Kids?

How to maintain your kids’ oral health

Often the threats that sugar can cause to your oral health can go unnoticed. This is usually the case with children’s oral health too. Hiding in so many of the foods and drink that we consume daily, sugar has damaging effects on our body and teeth.

For children who consume a lot of sugar and have a high sugar intake daily, tooth decay is a very serious possibility. Many types of bacteria live in our body and mouth, and certain kinds of bacteria feed off sugar and create an acid that can cause softening or dissolving of the tooth’s enamel or protective outer layer. This in turn creates tooth decay or tooth cavities. 

Our bodies naturally offset the acids created by sugar in our mouths by producing saliva which acts to rinse the mouth. This process of lessening the effects of the damaging sugar acids on your teeth enamel is called remineralisation. If the cycle of acid creation in your mouth (due to high sugar intake) is constant, however, the enamel on your teeth won’t have a chance to remineralise. Drinking water aids in saliva production; if your kids were to keep drinking a lot of carbonated fizzy drinks during the day instead of water, they’re inadvertently helping the bacteria produce more acid faster than can be neutralised in your mouth, and the results can be quite unfavourable.

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

What’s the recommended daily sugar intake?

The recommended guideline for an average adult’s daily intake of sugar as provided by the World Health Organization is up to twelve teaspoons of sugar or 10% of your daily energy intake requirements. That’s roughly about 50g per day. It’s challenging to provide a measurement for children for their daily intake as it varies depending on factors like age and sex.

Click below for a guideline on the recommended energy intake required for children. However, it is important to remember that it doesn’t account for your child’s size or level of activity during the day.

You’d be surprised to know that a small 375ml can of Coke can actually take up as much as 80% of your daily sugar intake as an adult! This leaves some 20% of sugar allowance left for food, which even without added sugars, naturally contain sugar as well.

For more information on what foods are considered high in sugar and to see how drinks compare in terms of their sugar content, click on the link to Read the Full Article at the bottom of the page.

What do you need to do to protect your child’s teeth from sugar?

Source: Australian Dental Association

Sugar weakens the tooth’s enamel and causes cavities. These holes, decay or cavities cause damage that is permanent to the tooth.

When there is tooth decay, it becomes necessary for a dentist to be involved in fixing the issue and treating the damage to the tooth. The cavity can be a tiny hole that has started to develop in the tooth’s enamel which can be easily treated using a standard dental filling. However, if the decay has penetrated and affected the pulp down in the root of the tooth, the situation becomes more serious. This will only happen if you leave a tooth that is starting to decay untreated for a long time, causing more layers of the tooth to get affected and rot.

In the case of a cavity or decay infecting the root of the tooth, the dentist would have to perform a root canal treatment to save the infected tooth. This is more invasive and will take more time to heal. If the tooth is simply unsalvageable, it must be removed.

In a child, this will be the last resort for a dentist. Your child’s primary teeth play a vital role in keeping all the teeth in the correct place until the adult teeth begin to form. Losing a tooth early on as a child could create spacing problems with teeth and will result in necessary orthodontic treatment later as your child grows up.

Cut down on sugar in your family’s diet. Try to always maintain a healthy balanced diet for meals and good oral hygiene practices like brushing teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, limiting sugary foods and drinks and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans!

It’s absolutely vital that you seek advice from a dentist on your child’s oral health as soon as their first tooth starts to emerge. This way, the dentist can keep a close eye and monitor to see if any signs of decay show early on and avoid having to undergo intrusive treatment procedures.

Creating a positive experience at the dentist

It would be helpful if your child sees a dentist for the first time prior to any dental issue arising. This is because we can then start off by introducing your child to dentistry with a more gentle, non-invasive examination to spend more time establishing a positive relationship with them. If we can establish a healthy relationship with your child from the get-go, we can minimise any dental anxiety or phobias that may arise after visiting the dentist for the first time for a major dental procedure, creating a negative association in their minds.

It is important that you do not talk about seeing the dentist in a negative way. Often children associate seeing the dentist as a frightening experience.

  • Don’t bribe your child
  • Don’t tell them that it might hurt and that they’re brave
  • Don’t speak of any negative experiences that you may have experienced at the dentist
  • Don’t be anxious; this could transfer to your child who sees that you’re anxious
  • Try to be positive and make it a fun experience
  • Make regular appointments with the dentist for check-ups

To read the full article click on the link below.

Summary

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Self-Isolation

Maintaining your oral hygiene regime is more important than ever right now as it’s crucial to keep your immune system in peak condition during the pandemic. Life is all very different right now, however somethings remain constant, like the importance of oral health for you and your family. 

There are several things you can do to keep your smile happy and healthy during self-isolation.

You can check them all out on our sister practice Dental on Beams’ blog by clicking the button below.
 

 

Naughty or Nice – Impact of Food and Drinks on Dental Health

Can you guess which of these foods are naughty or nice?

 Although some may seems obvious, some of these foods are sneakily a lot worse than the usual suspects. Which ones can you get right?

Naughty or Nice? – Food and Dental Health!

Dairy 

Most dairy is also quite good for you but milk is quite sugary to begin with so there is a ‘naughty’ option here – can you guess which one?

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Plain milk
  • Flavoured milk (BAD these have very high amounts of sugar and as a general rule we advise avoiding flavoured milk in your diet).

 Vegetables and Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are generally quite good for your teeth but there’s one big exception – do you know which one it is?

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruit (Oranges, Lemon, Lime) (BAD – these citrus fruits are highly acidic and will increase erosion and wear on your teeth).

Teas

These seem like they’re probably bad for your teeth, right? Well, not necessarily. They can be naughty or nice. Green and black teas contain polyphenols which can kill/hold back bacteria. You can also get fluoride from your tea depending on your local water supply…

  • Black and green tea
  • Be wary of staining if you drink too much tea/caffeine.

Chips

Seems like the salt and fat would be worse for your body rather than your teeth, but that can be misleading:

  • Potato  Crisps (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • Corn chips (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • One of the main causes of tooth decay as not as obvious as sugars. Even though the crisps aren’t sweet, they do get broken down into sugars.

 Medications

  • Asthma puffers decrease saliva flow so be careful with these.

Chewing gum

Since it helps create saliva it should be good, but a lot of gum on the market has sugar added to it, causing the same old problems for your teeth:

  • Sugarfree extra
  • Sugar gum (BAD – too sugary)
  • PK (BAD – too sugary)
  • Hubba bubba (BAD – too sugary)

Food and dental health – What Next?

Here are a few things to remember if you are going to eat sugary foods :

  • Eat them with a meal. Your increased saliva will reduce the acidity of the sugar.
  • Drink more water, preferably with fluoride in it (if you’re buying bottled water check the label to see if fluoride is included)
  • Brush twice daily, after meals.
  • Floss once daily.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you down at Polished Dental for your next checkup! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about sugar and its impact on teeth, or want to come up with a plan to try and minimise the sugar you’re consuming.

Dental Pain – 5 Different Types and Causes of Dental Pain

Ever had that random dental pain and worry about what it might mean? Your teeth are trying to reach out to you – and this is what they might be trying to tell you:

Short sharp sensitivity to cold, or sweet

Examples:

That glass of cold water that causes you to wince or that ice block that you just can’t bite intoThe pain is short and sharp and is gone within seconds.

You tuck into some chocolate but every so often, in one part of the mouth, you get a short bit of sensitivity.

Possible cause:

Exposed tooth nerves causing dental pain. Nerves can become exposed fairly easily. All it takes is some gum recession or tooth decay to expose dentine. Within dentine there are tubules that connect the tooth nerve with your mouth (or that cold water).

Dull ache or throbbing

Example:

You’ve finished for the day, you head to bed and a throbbing ache starts in a tooth that was only niggling before.

You sit down to have your morning cup of coffee but the heat causes a tooth to really ache

Possible cause:

Inflamed or infected nerve. When nerves have been irritated for an extended amount of time or when they’ve passed the point of being temporarily irritated – tooth pain can come spontaneous and present ass a dull ache instead of a quick sharp pain

Aching pain that moves around

You have a hot tea and then the pain starts along the bottom left jaw and then moves to the top left as well. As annoying as it is you cannot tell where the pain is coming from.

Possible causes:

Inflamed or infected nerve causing radiating or referred pain. This radiating pain can sometimes come from multiple teeth or can be the just the one tooth causing pain that seems like it’s coming from multiple teeth.  Referred pain can move from the top to the bottom of one side but will never move from the left hand side of the mouth to the right and side (and vice versa)

Pain in the jaw joint or cheek muscles

You wake up tired and it feels like you’ve been using your cheek muscles all night as they’re very tight.

Your jaw joints are clicky and it’s very sore on the joint to open wide sometimes.  

Muscular pain around the mouth can come from many different reasons. Some can come from clenching or grinding and others can come from degeneration of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ). Just like the diagnosis, treatment for muscular pain can really vary too – so proper diagnoses is key.

Dental pain around the sinuses

You’ve had a cold and your sinuses are sore. At the same time your top teeth feel weak and are sore to chew with.

When your sinuses are inflamed you can get referred pain to your top teeth as there is increased pressure at the roots of the top back tooth. This can feel like toothache but it is not as common – so as a rule if suspicious of any pain coming from the teeth it’s best to get it checked rather than assume it is coming from the sinus.   

Hopefully these tips allow you to interpret some of the messages your teeth are sending you. Although it’s good to know why you’re getting pain it’s another thing to try to get the problem fixed. Please let us know if you’re experiencing these symptoms so we can let you know how you can get you individual problem looked at, diagnosed and resolved.