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Diet and Nutrition FAQs
Why is a good diet and nutrition important for teeth?
Encouraging a balanced diet will go a long way toward developing good eating habits and overall health for a lifetime. Offering snacks like fruits, vegetables, peanut butter and cheese, and limiting the frequency of sugary or starchy snacks, juice and soda will greatly reduce the risk of your child developing tooth decay.
What is 'baby bottle syndrome'?
Nursing an infant to sleep or allowing a child to take a bottle/sippy cup to bed, although tempting, are habits that can lead to severe tooth decay. This problem, also known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC), occurs when the sugars in milk, formula, or juice, even when watered down, coat the teeth overnight on a continual basis. Because ECC results in chronic tooth pain, it is linked to poor weight gain and concentration problems in school. We recommend brushing your child's teeth before bedtime, and afterward using only water in the bottle.
What causes cavities?
Tooth decay is caused by plaque- a thin, sticky, yellowish film of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone's teeth. When sugar is eaten, the bacteria produce acids that attack tooth enamel. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down, creating a hole in the tooth's surface. Soda, juice, chocolate milk and candy (especially the sticky ones!) are common culprits in facilitating these acid attacks.