“Scientists have invented ice cream that’s made from fresh fruit. Even better, it’s low in calories, high in fiber, and it’s been shown to regrow hair on older men. And eating just one scoop provides enough dental hygiene to equal two minutes of brushing your teeth.”
Yeah count me in.
If those scientists were worth their money, that’s the headline we should be reading. However, until that time, you’re going to have to get your kids to eat real fruits and vegetables. Hey don’t get me wrong. I love a good serving of real ice cream. Espcially the ones with chunks of brownies, and chocolate covered cherries, roasted pecans, or candied peanuts, or caramel swirls…
But I don’t eat that sort of stuff daily. If I did, I’d be as big as a house. It’s a treat, something we do maybe once every other weekend. And as much as I enjoy a big bowl of ice cream, I’m also aware of the consequences of eating too much of it. Mostly it’s the sugar. So as soon as I’m done I brush or swish with water. Yeah I know, I’m a lot of fun at parties.
Fresh fruit is something we love, especially this time of year. Today it’s local strawberries and soon it’ll be raspberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, nectarines, figs, apples…
Again, it’s the sugar. Fruit sugar, better known as fructose is your best bet when it comes wrapped in your favorite fruit. Since I’m a Pediatric Dentist, I see a lot of little kids with tooth decay and it’s usually caused by diet. Too many starchy or sugary foods, not enough dental hygiene. See here’s the thing about that ice cream. If you eat a bowl of it then walk around for hours without brushing (or just swishing with water) then go to sleep, all that sugar has time to form super strong bacteria and eat away at the outer layer of your teeth. And if your teeth are young and underdeveloped, like most of my patients, then you’re really in trouble. Chances are your teeth won’t be able to survive that sort of abuse and that’s how little kids as young as three end up in my office with rotting teeth. And if that tooth decay isn’t treated quickly, the infection can travel into the heart of the tooth and then there’s some really serious damage that can occur. And I really don’t like repairing the teeth of little kids. Trust me, I’d much rather see everyone in here every six months, give them a cleaning and exam, then a high five because we didn’t find any cavities.
So now that spring is here and warm weather and we’re talking about some sort of renewal, why not renew our committment to good dental hygiene and fresh fruit over sugary sweets. Here’s a few tips.
If your kids see you doing it (eating fruits and veggies, brushing and flossing), they’re more likely to do it.
Don’t give up if they refuse to eat an orange. Try again tomorrow. Likewise with brushing and flossing.
Let them pick out fruits and veggies at the store. Same thing with toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Let them help out in the kitchen with cooking those fruits and veggies.
Variety! Mix it up. Who’s to say we can’t have three or four different tooth pastes or lots of different fruits and veggies?
And again, don’t give up on them. And remember, just because they yell “can we get a milk shake at McDonald’s!” every time you get in the car doesn’t mean you have to say yes.
And isn’t that the sort of advice you’d expect from a guy that’s been caring for the teeth of kids for twenty-something years? Looking for a great Kid’s Dentist? Just click here or give us a call at 877-3232.