We are now at a time of year that is known for unhealthy snacks. Carmel apples, popcorn and candy make dentists cringe. It is a known fact that sugar causes tooth decay. Furthermore, most candy is detrimental to orthodontic treatment. I'm sure we explained to you what foods you need to limit and avoid when you have braces, but just to recap, let's discuss them again. Avoid these: caramel, crunchy peanut butter, gooey chocolate bars, hard candy and nuts, Starbursts or taffy, gummy bears (and their gummy friends), gum and popcorn. Also, you need to limit soda and sugary drinks, and be sure to eat corn chips one corn chip at a time. And that is for starters. All the many candies that are not on the list can also be harmful if eaten in excess, because the sugar build up between the braces and teeth can be detrimental.
Even if you don't have braces, excessive sugar is dangerous, especially for children. Along with the obvious tooth decay, excessive sugar can promote obesity, hyperactivity and lack of concentration in school. Because of this, I have listed some suggestions for the Autumn season.
- Limit sweets. You and your children do not have to eat all of the candy, dessert and unhealthy snacks offered to you. As a family talk about selecting favorites and discarding the rest. You many think this sounds wasteful, but this is not nutritious food I am asking you to discard. It's basically toxins.
- Seek fun, family activities that do not revolve around sweets. There are many other activities your children can participate in that do not include the constant barrage of candy.
- Visit an apple orchard and then make healthy desserts with the apples. Not only does this promote healthy eating, but provides an afternoon of family fun.
The season of harvest is phenomenal. But I have seen the results of poor eating habits. And if you (or your child) are having braces, you are investing in your smile. Maintain that investment with healthy eating.