7 Apr 2012

Sugar and Toddlers’ Teeth

Sugar and Toddlers’ Teeth
by Ruth Kinzey in Refresh
Apr. 6, 2012 3:39pmRSS
If you are a parent who has toddlers, you can’t help but be concerned about news reports describing the increase in preschoolers’ tooth decay.

Nationwide, dentists are seeing a surge in this medical problem, which doesn’t appear to be linked to any specific income level. And although the CDC reported in 2007 that preventive measures, such as sealants, had helped reduce decay in children six and older, there were warning signs even then for children ages two to five years.

One contributor to this trend appears to be linked to the sugar found in juices and snacks. In December, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) announced the results of a study in which two-thirds of the 84 brands of children’s breakfast cereals reviewed contained more added sugar by weight than government recommended. In fact, the EWG discovered that only one out of every four cereals for children met their recommendations.

Fruit juices, a favorite of many young children, contribute to the level of sugar passing through the mouths of these babes as well. Add to the equation carbohydrate-rich foods, filled with sugars and starches, which are fed to little ones in the form of ready-to-go-processed snacks, and the toddlers are likely collecting a mouthful of future cavities.

Even gummy vitamins, while supplying important vitamins and minerals, can be problematic due to the soft and sticky residue left on baby teeth.

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