Fast Food and Oral Hygiene in Kids

10 October 2018

How does fast food impact your dental health?

Most of us are aware of the negative impact fast food has on your overall health; however, many people don’t acknowledge that it can also negatively affect your oral health. In fact, the convenience that fast food offers people when they are on the run, compared to making their own healthy meal at home, has now turned into one of the major causes of poor oral health.

Fast food can lead to an increased risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and many other oral diseases. It’s imperative for young children to understand the importance of eating healthy and how it can help their oral health, including preventing painful procedures at the dentist!

The Negative Effects of Salts and Sugars

One of the main reasons why fast food is so bad for your oral health is because there is a lot of added salt and sugar in the food. The debris caused by these foods allow large amounts of acid to build-up on the enamel lines of your teeth. In fact, even over a relatively short period of time, this can cause tooth and enamel decay. Salts and sugars can stick to your teeth for a very long time, so it’s extremely important to brush meticulously after eating any of these foods, and if you can, avoid these foods altogether.

Pop Wears Down Enamel

When you pick up your favourite fast food, you will likely complement the meal with some form of soda pop. Unfortunately, these soda drinks are sugar filled and have a negative impact on your oral health. The sugar in these carbonated beverages can very easily break down the enamel on your teeth. Unfortunately, your enamel cannot be replaced, so it’s important to take care of it. Due to the sugar in these drinks, your teeth will become more prone to developing cavities and sore gums.

Diabetes Impacts Gum Disease

When you eat poorly all the time or you regularly stop to get fast food, you are increasing your chances of getting diabetes, a disease that has been known to cause a long list of dental problems. In fact, studies have shown that diabetics are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Diabetics who want to reduce the impact it has on their oral health need to make sure that they maintain a good blood-sugar level.

Find Alternatives to Junk Food

Just because you don’t have time to prepare your own food, doesn’t mean that you have to order fast food. There are always healthier options for you to choose from when you are out and about. If you are stuck with having to buy food when you are out, make sure you spend some time figuring out places that sell healthy alternatives to fast food. When you are at a restaurant, choose items on the menu that are less likely to wreak havoc on your oral health such as salads, wraps, and fresh fruits and vegetables. And remember — always choose water over sugary soda drinks!

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

At the end of the day, your oral health has a major impact on your overall health and lifestyle. When you eat fast food and pop, your entire body will feel the negative impacts of that choice. Make sure you are eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and brushing and flossing your teeth between meals. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals is a great way to remove some of the plaque in your mouth, especially if you’ve had some fast food.

For more information on oral hygiene for children, call Oakville Place Dental on 905-842-6030 or contact us here.

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