By CRYSTAL EDMISTER D.D.S.
Special to the Saipan Tribune
Throughout my years of practice, I can tell by looking at a patient's x-rays if they snack or sip drinks all day long. You know what I can see? Cavities! Yes, snacking and sipping will cause cavities! Even it they are “healthy” snacks!
This is very evident in young children who will end up with a mouth full of cavities, all because their guardians can't have them not snack. What I recommend to these parents is to have their child eat three large meals per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. No snacks. Only drink water between meals. IF their child wants juice or a cookie, OK, but it is only to be eaten with their meal. Parents should feed their child balanced meals with a rainbow of colorful foods on their plate. When children eat whole, unprocessed foods they will feel “fuller” for longer.
Did you know that the average teenage boy consumes 81 gallons of soda each year? Wow! That's 1.7 gallons per week! Yuck. Not only are the sugar and phosphoric acid terrible for your teeth, it's also terrible for your stomach and body. Make the healthy choice and drink water instead. Sip on anything except water throughout the day and you risk tooth decay. Coffee, tea, juice, milk, etc. will all rot your teeth away. Adults will get cavities between their teeth (where the floss goes) from this habit of sipping all day long. Again, I recommend pure water. This will be better for your mind and body as well!
Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. Get them into the routine of visiting their dentist twice a year. Make sure your child is brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and is drinking fluoridated water. However, brushing and flossing alone is not the answer. You will still get cavities if you snack. So, give your teeth a break between meals to re-strengthen themselves against cavities! Drink water, water, water and no snacks!