Refined Carbohydrates & Oral Health

Posted Dec 9th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Health & Nutrition

Refined Carbohydrates & Oral Health

When refined carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, they linger in the mouth, and have the same negative effect on your child's oral health as sugary snacks and treats do.


What are refined carbohydrates?

Refined Carbohydrates are plant-based foods from which the whole grain has been extracted through a refining process. This refining process removes the majority of the food’s nutritional value and fibre.

White bread, pasta, and crackers are all good examples of refined carbohydrates.

Why are refined carbohydrates bad for teeth?

When starches from white flour linger in the mouth for a long time, they break down into simple sugars. The bacteria in your mouth feeds on these sugars just like sugars from other sources, and produce acids, which in turn cause tooth decay.

Essentially, refined carbohydrates can be just as harmful for your child's teeth as candy.

What should my child eat instead?

To replace refined carbohydrates in your child's diet, try introducing sources of carbs that are less processed, otherwise known as unrefined, or whole, grains.

The natural nutritional value of whole grains remains intact because these grains do not undergo a refining process. That means they’re full of many oral health-friendly nutrients that will keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.

Some great sources of Whole Grain Carbohydrates include

  • whole wheat bread, pasta and crackers
  • oatmeal
  • quinoa
  • bulgur
  • corn
  • wild rice

Have more questions about nutrition and you're child's oral health? Feel free to get in touch with the Smile Town Burnaby team! We'd be glad to help.

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