gum disease

Are Dried Fruits Bad for My Child’s Teeth?

July 22nd, 2020

[caption id="attachment_1064" align="alignleft" width="640"] Are Dried Fruits Bad for my Child's Teeth[/caption]

Dried fruits are a convenient snack for busy families. Unless you’re drying the fruit yourself (go you!), you don’t have to wash or slice anything; just hand those kiddos a box of raisins and be out the door. Plus – you can feel good about adding to your kiddo’s servings of fruits for the day.

But…what about all that sticky, sugary goodness? Isn’t that a no-no when it comes to dental health? The quick answer is: it’s complicated.

What is Dried Fruit?

Dried fruit is simply fruit that has had its water removed to some extent, leaving a shriveled, smaller version of its original form. Compared to fresh fruit, it's more shelf-stable.

Some forms of dried fruit have sugar added to improve taste or texture. And some dried fruit is encrusted with sugar crystals or chocolate. What we recommend offering to your kiddos is the plain stuff – no sugar added.

How Might Dried Fruits Affect Teeth?

Dried fruits contain sugar, and have a sticky texture. Anything that’s sweet and sticks to your teeth for a long time has the potential to contribute to tooth decay. The longer that sugar sits on teeth, the happier your mouth bacteria are as they chomp away and produce the acid that can attack your enamel.

When we eat dried fruits, it’s easy to go overboard on the sugar. Typically when we eat dried fruits, we eat a lot more than the equivalent amount of fresh fruit. A handful of dried apricots looks a lot like the same quantity in our eyes as a single fresh one.

But don’t cross dried fruit off your shopping list just yet…

There are Benefits, Though

Dried fruits are still fruit, after all. That means they contain fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients that are part of a healthy diet. Research tells us that some of these nutrients, such as polyphenols, actually help prevent the accumulation of plaque on teeth.

Other research theorizes that individual traits (such as the composition of bacteria in our mouths) have more to do with how a raisin will affect our teeth than the amount of sugar it contains.

You’d be surprised to learn how many other factors there are in relation to dried fruit’s effect on teeth. All in all, it appears there is insufficient evidence to conclude that dried fruit is, in fact, bad for our teeth.

So…hooray! Because there is some evidence to point toward dried fruit being beneficial for oral health in some ways, as well as containing important nutrients for our bodies, we say it’s a great option for hungry little tummies!

Again, you’re better off sticking with dried fruits that don’t have added sugars (though of course some yummy chocolate-covered fruits can be an occasional treat!). And offer some water to help wash anything sticky off teeth and down the hatch.

And, as always, maintain regular dental health visits with your child’s dentist to make sure their teeth are in good shape!

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

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Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

Five Reasons for Healthy Teeth

February 16th, 2018

5 Reasons for Healthy Teeth

[caption id="attachment_548" align="aligncenter" width="410"]5 Reasons for Healthy Teeth 5 Reasons for Healthy Teeth[/caption]

1.  Love.

Love your teeth? Get into the routine of making them a priority, so they will last a lifetime.  Honor your body. By taking care of your body using preventive measures, you will not only enjoy good health, but feel great. You deserve it!

2. Your Priority Reflects On Your Own Inner Values.

At a minimum, brush your teeth two times a day and floss once a day. That's just 6 minutes out of your day! Want to find about more techniques? Check out our website's preventive care page.

3. Your Heart Will Thank You.

Oral health is linked to heart health. How? Plaque and bacteria from your gumline can find its way into your bloodstream and heart. Gum disease can lead to bone loss causing teeth to feel loose.  Learn more about how to keep your gums healthy by reading gum disease on our website.

4. Be Motivated.

Did you know only 12% of the general population floss their teeth on a daily basis? You can do it! Then you too can be part of this healthy group.

5. Pass Along the Information.

Become an oral health ambassador.  If you have children or other loved ones in your household, then share with them the painless way to healthy teeth.

There are more ways to have healthy teeth.  Continue to checkout our blog posts for more information.  Our website also great info on oral hygiene and diet recommendations.

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

 

Oral Health Concerns for Teens

February 3rd, 2016

Oral Health Concerns for Teens

You have a lot more freedom as a teenager than you did as a young child. You also have a lot more responsibilities, and one of your jobs is to take care of your teeth. Develop and maintain good dental habits now so you can have great dental health for life!

Tooth Decay

As a teenager, you risk tooth decay, or dental cavities, if you are not careful. In fact, 59% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have at least one cavity, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dr. Allen Job and our staff recommend keeping your teeth strong and healthy by brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day.

If you suspect that you have tooth decay, do not be embarrassed. Instead, ask your parents to bring you to All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to get it addressed. When you do not treat your dental cavities, they can turn into more serious problems. A severely damaged tooth may need to be treated with a root canal or even an extraction.

You can take easy steps to prevent tooth decay when you are at school or hanging out with your friends. Carry a bottle of water around with you so you can take a sip after you eat any kind of food. Choose water or milk instead of soda or sports drinks, and if you chew gum, select a sugar-free flavor.

Other Oral Health Concerns

You can probably think of many reasons why you should not smoke or use tobacco. Your oral health is another one. Tobacco gives you bad breath and stains your teeth yellow. It also increases your risk for gum disease and cancer of the mouth. Smoking even slows the speed of healing after you have dental procedures done.

Here are a few more tips that can keep your mouth attractive and healthy during your teen years.

  • Drink plenty of milk.
  • Limit candies and sugary snacks.
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play a contact sport.
  • Visit pediatric dentist twice a year.
  • Reduce infections and avoid piercing your tongue and lips.

You only get one set of permanent teeth in your life, so get in the habit of taking care of them now!

Contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen Job.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention.  He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.