Toothy matters

If there's one thing I regret about not holding my stand with the boy is the introduction of sweets to him.

I must clarify.... it is THE MAN who likes to use sweets to "bribe" the boy. 

So today, we find ourselves in a constant struggle.

Me, trying to stop J from eating too many sweets because I am worried that will destroy his current beautiful set of teeth.

The man, on the other hand will always (and I mean every single day) have a pack of sweets for him.

How to control you tell me?!

On top of sweets, J is also a huge fan of ice-cream. These are the common causes of cavities in teeth.

3 years old, in my opinion, is too young to be losing teeth to the evils of sugar acids and I am always nagging the boy to brush his teeth everyday! Prevention is always better than cure yah?

While we think that sweet foods are the main culprits of dental cavities, in fact, healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to cavities due to hidden sugar acids. Even the starchy foods such as rice and potatoes that we eat on a daily basis can cause sugar acids to eat away our teeth enamel.

What's sugar acids? 

Sugar acids are created in the mouth when common oral bacteria feed on food residue, causing acid level in the mouth to rise, enabling sugar acids to attack, therefore weakening tooth enamel and causing cavities. What this means is, what we eat everyday, if not properly cleansed, is likely to lead to cavities. The longer these foods remain in the mouth, the higher the probability of bacteria attacking the teeth.

How to prevent sugar acids from harming your child's teeth

As adults, it is easy for us ensure we brush our teeth at least twice a day. We also use mouth wash to ensure we clean the hard to reach places. However, for kiddos or even babies, this becomes complicated. Here's some tips on how to prevent dental cavities. Some of these tips are from Dr Jing Jing (who was kindly invited by Colgate to speak at a bloggers' event) and others are what I have been practicing at home.

Brush their teeth at least 2 times a day
I think this is a given, yet it is hard to do so especially with younger kids. So, some ways to encourage them to do so is perhaps for us to brush with them. Have a little teeth cleanliness competition. Or, we can let them brush ours while we do the same for time. We can even help the kiddos to keep a "brushing calendar" to them keep track of how many times they have brushed their teeth in a day.

Encourage them NOT to keep food in their mouth.
Some kids have the habit of not chewing their food, but keep them in their mouth for some time before swallowing. Dr Jing Jing mentioned that it is perfectly fine to let kids have their sweet treats, as long as they finish them quickly. After hearing this, I was actually very relieved because J has always been quick to finish his food. Little did I know, this has helped in keeping his teeth in great shape (thus far!) . 

Drink water after every sweet treat
I learnt this from J's teachers when they found out that J has a sweet tooth. It is akin to swishing our mouth with water in the absence of mouthwash. 

Parents, cook at home if you can
When we cook at home, we can control the amount of sugar we put in our food. At the media event hosted by Colgate, we were treated to a cooking session where the lovely ladies at Expat Kitchen demonstrated the amount of sugar that is used in homemade tomato pasta sauce as compared to the bottled ones we can find in supermarkets. Less sugar means less likelihood of it attacking our teeth.
That's the yummy homemade pasta sauce we used to make some pastabake.

A new standard of oral care from Colgate

The other thing that helps is to use a good toothpaste. Colgate recently launched a new Maximum Cavity Protection range that comes with Sugar Acid Neutraliser .  It is the first and only family anti-cavity toothpaste that goes beyond the protection of fluoride that directly fights sugar acids in plaque – the number one cause of cavities .

It is clinically proven to fight tooth decay in two ways.  Firstly, its patented Sugar Acid Neutralizer™ helps deactivate sugar acids before they can harm teeth. Secondly, with fluoride and calcium it also strengthens and restores the enamel to help prevent cavity formation.  
 According to Dr Jing Jing, it is alright for kids to start using adults' toothpaste as this will allow them to learn how to spit. In fact, those sweet toothpaste we find in the market that's been created for children are not encouraged. Because they are sweet, kids tend to leave them in their mouths, and that is likely the reason why parents sometimes find it hard to teach their children to spit. 
 Hope these tips are of help! 


Do you have other tips on how to promote oral hygience to kids? Do share them with us! We are happy to spread the word too!

Disclaimer: Meeningfully was invited to a media event by Colgate Singapore. No compensation was received for this post, and all opinions are wholly ours.