Laden with middle-of-the-night tooth-brushing guilt? Survey says… you aren't alone. When hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) strikes, it is always followed by a trip to the kitchen and something sweet to rectify the situation. Exhausted (and low), we are left with a sticky situation — literally.
When you're done shaking your child from a deep slumber to pour juice down their throats at 1 a.m., the last thing on your mind may be their dental health, but should it be?
As a person with type 1 diabetes and also a parent to someone with it, these thoughts have crossed my mind. The dentist will tell you otherwise, but in the real world I know it's not feasible to sleepwalk a child to the bathroom and brush after every low.
The dental odds are against us in this process, so think this one through. Tooth decay begins with bacteria that thrives on sugar in the mouth converting it to an acid. The acid begins a destructive process on tooth enamel causing decay and identifiable cavities.
How do we decrease the odds of tooth decay? Control what is controllable.
• Don't eat gummy/ sticky foods that will adhere to the teeth and stay there all night long.
• Avoid candies that dawdle in the mouth, such as lollipops and hard candies.
• Acidic, citrus based foods are destructive to tooth enamel — avoid these juices during the night.
• Serve juice with a straw to minimize tooth contact.
• Wash the midnight snack down with a little water to clear the palate of sugars.
• According to The Washington Post, foods high in calcium and phosphates, like raw nuts and yogurt, strengthen the tooth’s surface. Make these a regular part of your diet.
• Be vigilant with teeth-brushing both morning and night.