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Something More Harmful Than Sugar Is Giving Kids Cavities

girl eating french fries and ketchup

The next time mom or dad is going to insist that their children should eat their vegetables, they are really going to mean it. That’s because there’s a new study that says sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to cavities. As a matter of fact, it’s more than just candy and chocolate that is causing decay inside the mouths of million children across the country. It’s carbs, too.

According to dentists, potato chips and carbohydrates in general might be the cause of your child’s cavities. Researchers have found that refined carbs are doing the same amount of damage as your child’s secret stash of Halloween and Easter candy, without you even realizing it. Foods like chips, bread, pasta, or even crackers can cause the production of acid in your mouth, which will take you packing to your dentist for a much-needed visit before you know it.

A carbohydrate, by definition, is a food compound that gives the body energy. Carbohydrates, whether in grains, fruits, beans, vegetables or cookies, contain simple sugars that must be broken down into pieces to be used by the body as energy. But when it comes to starchy, refined carbs, that’s where the problem begins.

young boy eating pasta
Credit: iStock / yaoinlove

Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth for a very long time and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria then feeds on these sugars and produce acid. This is what leads to tooth decay, nonetheless.

But there’s hope: tooth decay can be stopped or reversed, if the damage done isn't too deep. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. But if the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. If you want to teach your child how to prevent tooth decay, you can start by sharing a few simply steps.

First and foremost, make sure that are brushing their teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Then, make sure they are cleaning teeth daily with dental floss or inter-dental cleaners, such as the Oral-B Interdental Brush, Reach Stim-U-Dent, or Sulcabrush.

And finally, have them rise daily with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. As they say, an apple a day will also keep the doctor and the dentist away.

READ NEXT: Toddlers Eat More Sugar Than Is Safe For Adults, Study Says

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