September is childhood obesity awareness month, and with childhood obesity on the rise, the issue really needs to be addressed. One of the issues that are often overlooked when discussing childhood obesity is the damage that is does to teeth.
We live in a world where everything is big. Our restaurant chains are big, our portion sizes are big, and the waists of our children are big, and they keep growing. Kids are ingesting more high-fat and high-sugar foods than ever before, and it is taking a serious toll on their teeth.
According to an article in the British Dental Journal, the culprit behind tooth decay in obese children is snacking. “Snacking on treats in front of the television for several hours a day not only increases a child’s risk of becoming obese, but also of developing dental decay.”
The daily snack diet of an obese child doesn’t typically consist of teeth-healthy foods such as celery, apples, and carrots. Instead, it typically consists of snacks high in sugar like candy, cookies, and chips.
Sugary treats wreak havoc on teeth, especially when they are on the teeth for a long period of time. Dentists recommend that we limit snacking to protect our teeth because the longer food stays on teeth, the higher risk for decay.
Try to feed your kids teeth-happy snacks, like crunchy fruits and veggies, and limit snacking during the day to keep their teeth healthy.