How to prevent cavities

Did you know that the average American eats over 147 pounds of sugar each year? Sweets taste so good, but we all know that eating too many is not healthy for our bodies and is harmful to teeth.

In honor of Dental Health Month, our school nurse shares some ways you can help prevent cavities, in addition to regular brushing and flossing: 

  • It is best to enjoy treats as dessert instead of between meals. The more often the teeth are exposed to sugar the greater the damage.
  • If tooth brushing is not possible after a meal, drink, or snack, it is a good idea to rinse with water.
  • Choose snacks wisely. Gooey, chewy, sticky foods are harmful because they stay on teeth longer. Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) are a great source of calcium and even help protect teeth. Raw veggies and fruits are great choices too.
  • Don’t allow constant nibbling between meals. Again, more exposure to food increases the likelihood of decay.
  • Make soft drinks occasional treats, not part of every day. Colas contain harmful acids and non-cola soft drinks contain additives and organic acids – all leave teeth more susceptible to decay. Straws are good - there is less direct contact of liquids with teeth.
  • Beware of sports drinks, commercially prepared teas, and lemonades. They are loaded with sugar and may be even more harmful to teeth than pop. Better choices are water, milk, or 100% fruit juices.

If you need assistance finding dental care for your student, please contact the school nurse.