One of the goals of any loving parent is to keep their children healthy and happy as much as possible. Part of keeping your children healthy is taking care of their dental hygiene from an early age. But many of the foods and drinks you give your child each day could actually be hurting your children’s teeth.
Tooth discoloration occurs as a result of eating and drinking items that leave stains on the tooth. This staining is called extrinsic discoloration, and adults often experience it when they drink wine and coffee. Unfortunately, it can take place in children as well. This article lists some of the common foods and drinks that can stain children’s teeth.
1. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is highly pigmented and high in sugar. Cranberry, grape and other dark juices are especially bad for staining the teeth. In general, sugary fruit juices are not the best drink for children as sugar can feeds bacteria and creates cavities.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits and fruit juices have the ability to strip enamel from your teeth, leaving behind only the dentin. This dentin layer has a yellow appearance that will show through. While future whitening treatments are available, they may not work on a long-term basis.
3. Tomato Sauce
While tomato sauces can be eaten safely on occasion, frequent eating can cause red stains because tomatoes are so acidic. There are some ways to make tomatoes less acidic, but the remedies are not perfect.
Curry and other red sauces work in similar ways to tomato sauce especially sauces with highly acidic ingredients.
Dark-colored sodas are especially bad for staining the surface of the teeth. It is also important to remember that carbonated drinks, like soda, are acidic. This means that they can open up holes in enamel that make teeth vulnerable to coloring. Even the sugar-free versions of these carbonated drinks have this coloring effect.
5. Dark Fruits
Even healthy foods, like blueberries and blackberries, can leave stains behind. Cranberries and raspberries have similar effects.
Even jellies and jams made from these dark fruits may not be good for maintaining pearly whites.
6. Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is a warm drink, which means that it can open up the teeth to damage to the enamel. While any heated drink can do this, hot chocolate is the most popular hot drink for children. Additionally, the dark brown color of the hot cocoa can be especially damaging in terms of staining.
7. Dyed Candies
If a food has been dyed, of course, the dye may come off. These dyes are most commonly found in children’s food via sugary treats. For example, lollipops are often colored with different dyes. If it can stain your child’s tongue and lips, it is likely staining their teeth as well.
Preventing Tooth Discoloration in Children
There are many ways you can prevent your children’s teeth from becoming stained. Cutting back on the foods and drinks that lead to staining are effective techniques. Children may also benefit from drinking juices out of a straw.
Of course, frequent brushing and rinsing is also helpful. Children can rinse with water after each meal to help eliminate the development of cavities caused by lingering foods.
Certain foods are also helpful in preventing tooth discoloration in children. These include crunchy fruits and vegetables that can help to clean the teeth with every bite. Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial.
In the meantime, regular dental cleanings can prevent some of the damage caused by discoloration. Children’s Dental Clinic of Green Bay SC provides pediatric dental care based on knowledge and compassion. If you have questions about your child’s diet and how it may influence his or her ability to have fresh, white teeth we may be able to help.