Health Week

Tooth Truths: The Science-Backed Reason Kids Have Sweet Tooth

Sugary gums for kids

Candies and children aren’t the best combo, as it often leads to another “C” — cavities. But have you ever wondered why your kids seem to be always craving for sweets? Apparently, it’s not just the sugar rush or the colorful coating that makes them reach for more. It’s, in fact, biological.

A Built-in Sweet Tooth

According to experts, infants are able to recognize sweet tastes early on and they choose it more than the less sweet options. The preference is a built-in inclination. They’re naturally drawn to such, even without learning to like sweet. This preference typically changes only at late adolescence.

Health specialists explain that this matters for childhood development. As kids grow, their bodies require more energy, which sugar-rich food can provide. In the evolutionary perspective, this matters as children who reach for sweets have greater chances of survival.

What Can Parents Do

While sweet tooth is biologically programmed in kids, this doesn’t mean you should let your child’s cravings run wild. As mentioned, too many sweets can ruin your child’s oral health. They’re at a greater risk for cavities if they don’t practice good dental hygiene.

Make it a priority to visit a kids’ dentist. Southridge Pediatric Dentistry and other South Jordan health specialists recommend fluoride treatments, as these help the enamel be more resistant to cavities. These can be applied as gel, foam, or varnish.

Furthermore, teach your kids how to brush teeth properly. This is the most effective way to fight plaque, the sticky substance that forms after eating too many sweets. It’s important to do this habit regularly, at least twice a day, but at the same time not to overdo it. Aggressive tooth brushing wears away the enamel, which may then lead to other dental problems, like receding gums.

Your sweet child’s sweet tooth is apparently an innate, biological trait. However, don’t let them rummage through your pantry and eat every cookie and candy they find. Limit sweets and keep their teeth cavity-free with good dental hygiene.

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