Did you know...?
What do you think is better, a chocolate once a day or healthy fruit several times a day?
Every time we eat something, we generate acid and the acid promotes tooth decay. Saliva slowly cleans the acid, taking between 30 min to 40min to do so. In general, it is not good to be grazing food since that means that acid is constantly present in the mouth and the saliva does not have enough time to clear it out, hence promoting cavities. Thus, it is better to eat chocolate once a day than fruit all the time.
What promotes more tooth decay, an orange or a banana?
Probably the first inclination is to think an orange is worse, since it’s acidic and we know acid promotes cavities. However, we have to consider that an orange clears the mouth much more rapidly than a banana. For this reason, the banana is one the fruits that promotes cavities the most.
What do you give you kid for a snack: a bar of caramel chocolate, or chips, cheerios or pretzels?
It’s important to understand that cooked starched foods (chips, cheerios, pretzels) are as bad as unprocessed sugar, and both promote cavities in the mouth. In this case, the chips tend to be retained in the mouth longer and hence they are worse. A chocolate bar, on the other hand, even though it is sugary and will promote cavities, it is also alkaline and will tend to neutralize the acid in the mouth faster and so it is preferred to chips, cheerios, or pretzels.
To prevent cavities I limit my kids sugar intake by mixing juice with water, is that OK?
It depends how often your kid drinks the water-juice mix. It is bad for tooth decay if a kid has a sippy cup with the watery juice and he/she is constantly drinking it during the day. It is very important to limit the time food is being processed in the mouth to minimize acid production and to give the saliva sufficient time to clean it. In this scenario, it would be better to drink a whole gallon of juice once, than to be drinking a little bit of water-juice mix over the day.