Obesity in Children
Childhood obesity has been plaguing America’s youth for quite some time. The obesity rate in children has risen to 17% over the last two decades, it’s more important than ever to consider the link between weight and oral health.
We live in a world where everything is big. Our restaurant chains are big, our portion sizes are big, and the waists of our children are big, and they keep growing. Kids are ingesting more high-fat and high-sugar foods than ever before, and studies show it is taking a serious toll on their teeth.
According to an article in the British Dental Journal, the culprit behind tooth decay in obese children is snacking. “Snacking on treats in front of the television for several hours a day not only increases a child’s risk of becoming obese, but also of developing dental decay.”
The daily snack diet of an obese child doesn’t typically consist of teeth-healthy foods such as celery, apples, and carrots. Instead, it typically consists of snacks high in sodium and sugar like candy, cookies, and chips.
Sugary treats wreak havoc on teeth, especially when they are on the teeth for a long period of time. Due to the nature of snacking most people don’t think to brush their teeth after enjoying a snack. Unfortunately for the snacking type, snack foods tend to linger in the mouth for longer, furthering the risk for decay. Dentists recommend that we limit snacking to protect our teeth because the longer food stays on teeth, the higher risk for decay.
The scary truth is that snacking throughout the day is hurting more than just your child’s waistline. Try to feed your kids teeth-happy snacks, like crunchy fruits and veggies, and limit snacking during the day to keep their teeth healthy.pediatrics