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The real effects of sugary snacks. Sugary snacks are everywhere and they can be hard to avoid, but there are real health effects of sugary snacks. Sugary snacks are bad for teeth and the general well being of a child. In this article, we delve into the dental issues caused by sugar and all the broad health concerns becoming of sugar consumption.
Why Sugar is Bad for Your Teeth
One of the common sugar and teeth facts is that sugary snacks cause tooth decay in children. Even young children or babies can have an increased risk of tooth decay if they have been exposed to a lot of fruit juice or a sweet pacifier with honey or sugar. If the sugar is in the mouth for longer than 20 minutes, the sugar produces acid that can attack the teeth and cause tooth decay. This is one of many.
This not only happens in small children or babies but also in older children who regularly eat snacks full of sugar. Cavities will develop due to the tooth decay. Without treatment from a dentist, the cavities will progress into the deeper layers of the tooth, which can cause a lot of pain and possibly lead to tooth loss. If your kids have had too many sugary snacks, speak with a dentist about ways to reverse some of this damage. Saliva can help repair teeth, as well as fluoride.
However, it is not a solution if children keep eating sugary snacks throughout the day. In addition to cutting down on sugar, stimulating saliva flow can help repair some of the damage. Cheese, yogurt and dairy products with calcium can help repair and strengthen teeth and these are good food options to replace the sugar snacks. Regular dental visits and proper brushing can help treat these effects as well. Fluoride may also be able to reverse some of the damage.
Other Effects of Sugary Snacks
Sugar isn’t just bad for the teeth. Too many sugary snacks can affect behavior in your child. Once a kid consumes a snack with sugar, they have a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. Then when the levels begin to follow, there is a release of adrenaline. The release of adrenaline contributes to hyperactivity. Once glucose levels are below normal, low blood sugar can occur, and this can result in shakiness, sweating and even altered thinking in children.
Sugars in snacks are contributing to the obesity epidemic in the country. Those that are overweight or obese can have an increased risk of chronic conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, asthma, and Type II diabetes. Children that have weight problems are more likely to also have weight problems as an adult.
Fructose is a kind of sugar that is only metabolized by the liver, which can only metabolize a certain amount. Too much refined sugar can cause the fructose level to increase and overload the liver. This then converts into an unhealthy fat. Too much of this on a regular basis can lead to fatty liver disease and other liver ailments. This isn’t a problem if sugar comes from fruit, but it is an issue if too much processed sugar from unhealthy snacks is consumed.
Many children that have symptoms of acid reflux and croup get them from having poor sugar habits. Many of these kids are drinking chocolate milk, and the combination of dairy and sugar is causing the problem. The sugar causes more acid and, not only does that affect the teeth, it can also come back up through the esophagus and cause the acid reflux and croup that children are experiencing.
What Else Can Sugar Do?
Too much sugar in children can mimic cold and allergy symptoms. Chronic runny noses, cough and other symptoms of sinus infection might not just be related to the weather or kids passing colds around the school. It may actually be an effect of too much sugar. Some children are even diagnosed with allergies without having any testing. It’s not allergies, it’s the effects of too much sugar.
Too much sugar can weaken the immune system. When too much sugar is consumed, it disrupts the balance between good and bad bacteria, and weakened immune systems lead to children getting colds. Reducing sugar can help reduce the symptoms of the colds children do get.
The more sugar kids eat, the more they will crave sugar. The excess insulin in their system that is created from the higher glucose level lingers. This then triggers the craving for more sugar and keeps the cycle going. This can also lead to poor diet since you are likely to choose other unhealthy foods and aren’t getting the vitamins and nutrients you and your children need. Too much sugar can lead to vitamin depletion. Since the refined sugars use up stored B vitamins, calcium and magnesium in the body in order to help with digestion. With lower B vitamins, the nervous system is affected. Which can lead to fatigue, lethargy, depression, and the other behavioral issues mentioned.
Ways to Reduce Sugar
It’s important to reduce a child’s sugar intake in order to prevent the effects of sugary snacks. A diet that consists of lean protein, such as beef or chicken, and includes low-fat dairy and healthy fats is best. Whole grains should include oatmeal, brown rice, or whole grain bread or pasta. These don’t cause the fast increase in blood sugar like refined sugar snacks do. Vegetables and fruits are part of a healthy diet and help give vitamins and nutrients to fight off disease.
You should avoid sugary snacks and drinks, which include a lot of soda and fruit juices as these are detrimental. Even fruit juices that are 100 percent fruit juice or organic can still contain a high level of refined sugar. Either make your own juices, so you know how much sugar is in them or stick to water flavored with berries or lemon slices. Enjoy sweet treats occasionally so you aren’t completely depriving your children of sugar, but don’t make it a habit.
Visit an Expert…
Visit Dr. Engel to see why sugar is bad for your teeth, and learn other sugar and teeth facts to help prevent cavities and know the effects of sugary snacks.
Contact Kinder Smiles today for the dental health of your child
KinderSmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
The Real Effects of Sugary Snacks (7 AMAZING FACTS)
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.