How Your Child’s Diet Can Affect Their Teeth

July 2, 2019 Mitten Kids Dentistry

Dental Health Pediatric Dentist Grand Rapids, MIYour child is a natural explorer, which is why it makes sense that they’d want to try all different types of foods. Yet, did you know that your child’s diet can affect their teeth?

Teaching your child about proper diet and oral hygiene can feel a lot like trekking through the wilderness. Fortunately, our pediatric dentists and their team are ready to help your child on their journey to better oral health.

Diet & Your Child’s Teeth

In this blog post, we’ll give you our expert tips on how to nurture your child’s curiosity about food while helping them avoid cavities. We’ll also tell you what oral health issues your child may encounter if they eat foods that are too sugary or acidic. From the dental chair to the hiking trail, our goal is to holistically support families as they adventure through life.


Sugar lurks in places where you wouldn’t expect, like in cereal and sports drinks. Even certain flavors of yogurt can have a lot of sugar. If you’re trying to reduce the amount of sugar in your family’s diet, start looking at the ingredient labels in your pantry.

Ingredients are always listed by concentration, from highest to lowest. Avoid foods and beverages that list sugar as the first, second, or third ingredient. Instead, pack your little adventurer’s lunch box with healthy options like apple slices or cheese cubes. Healthy food gives your child the fuel they need to play and learn about the world around them.

Children have great imaginations. If your child has a sweet tooth, talk to him or her about the “sugar bugs” (dental plaque) that live on their teeth. Explain that eating healthier foods will help keep the sugar bugs away. A great way to make this conversation fun is to encourage your child to draw what they think sugar bugs look like. Not only does this help spark your child’s creativity, but it can also help them develop a strong foundation for oral health.


While children don’t drink coffee or tea, they’re not off the hook when it comes to tooth discoloration. For example, the dark compounds in cola can stain your child’s teeth yellow over time. Lemon-lime sodas aren’t staining on their own, but they make your child’s teeth more vulnerable to being stained by other foods. They’re also just as acidic as other types of pop, which weakens your child’s tooth enamel.

If your family drinks a lot of pop, ask our pediatric dentists for tips on how to transition to a healthier diet. We aim to provide the highest level of pediatric dental care for kids of all ages, whatever their needs.


Your child’s teeth are made up of important minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Plaque produces an acid that breaks down these minerals. For this reason, it’s important that you teach your child how to brush their teeth and bring healthy foods into your home.

Have a picky eater on your hands? Instead of making a drastic change to your child’s diet, gradually introduce healthy foods. Over time, you’ll eventually crowd out the pop, candy, and cookies in your child’s diet with healthier choices. Our pediatric dentists will also monitor your child’s oral health during their routine teeth cleanings and oral examinations.

Tooth Sensitivity

Enamel is the white outer layer of your child’s teeth. Once enamel weakens, it exposes the more sensitive layer of dentin underneath. As a result, your child may feel twinges of pain when they eat something hot or cold. Many times, mild tooth sensitivity can be treated by reducing your child’s sugar intake or switching to a toothpaste formula for sensitive teeth. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself, schedule an appointment for your child to see one of our pediatric dentists.

Call Mitten Kids Dentistry!

Childhood is an adventure, especially when you live in the picturesque state of Michigan. Our pediatric dentists can help your child prepare for what’s around the corner by giving them oral hygiene tips that will last a lifetime. To schedule an appointment with Mitten Kids Dentistry, call (616) 942-9840. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

This post has been updated.

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