Cavities caused by more than just sugary treats

Cavities caused by more than just sugary treats

When most people hear cavities they think sodas, candy and other sugary treats, but some unexpected food and drinks can eat away at your teeth too.

"Kids...they don't go to the store and buy the sugar drinks for themselves, and so it's 100% parent responsibility," said Dr. Eric Sanders, pediatric dentist.

Obvious offenders are not the only cause of cavities. Dr. Sanders says the problem can start at an early age.

"Everything in a bottle is cariogenic, meaning it can cause cavities, except for water," said Dr. Sanders.

Babies formula has sugar in it, but it is not just the sugar that breaks down teeth. The time formula or juice sits on developing teeth is the bigger problem.

"At night whenever you're not salivating, you're not brushing your teeth and everything just pulls on the tooth, your susceptibility increases," said. Dr. Sanders.

Acidic foods like lemons, tea, energy drinks and sports drinks can also wear down teeth, but as a parent, Dr. Sanders says he's not too worried about this in young kids.

"I don't think lemons are breaking down enamel on primary teeth. I think more or less it's apple juice, Dr. Pepper particularly for teens," explained Dr. Sanders.

Even diet sodas can harm your teeth.

"The only thing I've seen that doesn't cause cavities is water. Now you can have zero coke, or diet Dr. Pepper...but some of the agents in these products can break down enamel," warned Dr. Sanders.

It's the sticky stuff like raisins or granola bars that do a number on those developing smiles.

"Potato chips, any kind of sticky foods really contribute a lot to tooth decay," said Dr. Sanders.

He added sometimes it's not what you eat, but when you eat it.

"Ten cokes in a day, tooth wise, you're better off drinking ten cokes in one hour than having one coke an hour for ten hours," explained Dr. Sanders.

He suggests saving desserts or sugary foods for meal times. Drinking anything but water throughout the day doesn't give your teeth a break, continued Dr. Sanders.

"It's not wrong to have all of these sugar drinks...what's wrong is having them continuously throughout the day," said Dr. Sanders.

He recommends water between meals to neutralize the acid in your mouth and a good brush twice a day beginning with the first tooth.

"Don't be afraid to look inside the child's mouth and treat it as a body part like finger nails, like ears," suggested Dr. Sanders.

Antihistamines can also contribute to tooth decay. The medicine can cause dry-mouth which prevents saliva from breaking down the sugars in food or drinks. Dr. Sanders suggests drinking a lot of water to combat the dry-mouth side effect.

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