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Tooth decay is more and more prevalent in our world today. Despite all the advances in medical and dental technology, our diet and modern lifestyle is still fighting to keep up with tooth decay. Both adults and children suffer from record amounts of tooth decay, due to inadequate oral hygiene and too many and too frequent consumption of carbohydrates. Despite the fact that tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, it is the most common chronic disease in children.

Tooth decay in children can have negative effects that go beyond the appearance of their smile. Pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, distracting toothaches and more. Every year, children in the US miss thousands of hours of school due to preventable tooth decay and poor dental hygiene.

Establishing healthy diet and dental hygiene habits at an early age is crucial for the long term health of children, yet more and more children are experiencing gum disease and tooth decay at an earlier age because of short-comings in their diet. With a few simple changes in diet and regular maintenance such as brushing and flossing, we can get the jump on tooth decay and keep our teeth, and our children’s teeth, healthy and strong.

Vitamins A & D are very important to the development of healthy bones in children and many studies suggest that vitamin D can help prevent cavities. Without these crucial vitamins, children are more susceptible to conditions like rickets, tooth decay and poor bone development.

Children can often be picky eaters, making it difficult to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals their growing bodies need. This is why pediatricians recommend giving children vitamin D fortified dairy as well a daily multi vitamin. Also, using natural products and replacing highly processed foods with whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a great way to get children those critical nutrients their bodies need.

Diets including fish and provide omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for brain development and function, and a rich source of fat-soluble vitamin D. Yellow butter, which comes from grass fed cows, is an important source of a substance called “Activator X” which plays a key role in our bodies’ utilization of vitamins D & A.

Making changes to a family’s diet may sometimes seem overwhelming and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Changes in diet can be simple and the family’s eating habits don’t have to change drastically. Sometimes the simple choices can make a big difference. The simple choices you make today can make all the difference in the health of your family.