Sugar Wars: Protecting Your Children’s Teeth

It’s a dangerous time for your children’s smiles. A constant assault by candies, sodas, and sweets threatens to destroy their smiles before they even have time to grow into them. There’s only one hope for a healthy mouth for your growing youngsters: you.

February is national children’s dental health month, and each year the American Dental Association gives the event a theme. This year it’s Sugar Wars, so prepare to fight the good fight for your child’s oral health. We’ll be right there alongside you at our Rochester dentist office. Think of us as the home base for the war effort against too much sugar!

Your Child’s Oral Health: What’s The Risk?

Sugary treats are everywhere, and if your children are in school they’re probably finding sources of sweets you aren’t even aware of. They’re drawn to candy like moths to a flame, and with consequences just as dire for the health of their mouths!

Sugar itself isn’t the culprit in tooth decay: it’s actually the oral bacteria that your mouth is filled with. When that oral bacteria gets ahold of sugar in the foods you and your children eat it has itself a snack too. That snack is what produces the acids that wear away your teeth’s enamel like a stone in a river.

Every sweet product out there, and even some not-so-sweet ones you might not expect, are full of sugar. The more of it your child eat the greater the barrage of acid to their teeth. It’s essential that you take steps to not only limit their intake but to limit the chances for damage as well!

Fighting Tooth Decay

Waging the war on sugar, dental plaque, and the acid it creates isn’t too complicated, but it does become more so when we’re talking about your children. They probably don’t want to stop eating sweets and it can be difficult to get them motivated about brushing their teeth too!

We recommend keeping a close eye on their sugar intake when possible. They aren’t around all the time, so there are going to be instances when you won’t be able to tell them to put the candy bar down, but any difference you can make is important.

It’s also essential to teach them the value of good oral health from an early age – we recommend brushing their mouths for them before they even have teeth! As they become old enough to hold a toothbrush you can start from there – you may still be doing the brushing but giving your child a chance to feel that they are participating is a great way to build a good habit.

Helping them get good at brushing and taking care of their teeth doesn’t have to be baffling either: it’s just a matter of making it into a game! Whether Sugar Wars is something that will excite them or you need another motivator there are still things you can do to make it easy on you and them.

  • When shopping for a toothbrush or toothpaste for your child let them pick it out. Studies have found that children are more willing to do a chore or task when they have a sense of ownership over it.
  • Brush your teeth together with your child. They’ll get a chance to see a professional at work and you’ll get to encourage them. Children learn a lot from just watching their parents!
  • If you need to, it can help to offer some incentives to make them brush: maybe a new toy or a simple treat for number of days without a fuss – anything could help!

The Most Important Tool In The Sugar War: Professional Care

If your bathroom sink is the front line on the fight against tooth decay then our office is the military headquarters. Bringing your child to see us every six months is incredibly important not only for the health of their teeth but also for their perception of dental care. Children that come to the dentist with their parents before they even need care are far more likely to approach dentistry comfortably and without fear. Building a good habit now can have lifelong effects!

Whether you need to be seen or you’re ready to make an appointment for your child we’re ready to see you and your whole family. Call our Rochester dentist office today to schedule a visit! You can reach us at

507-315-2932 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We’ll see you soon!