Pediatric dentists seeing more tooth decay as kids learn and eat at home

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INDIANAPOLIS – Pediatric dentists with Riley Hospital for Children tell CBS4 they are seeing more children with tooth decay now that so many students are learning from home.

“They’re eating whenever and whatever they like and choose because they have full access to a pantry, Dr. LaQuia Vinson, DDS, said. “When they’re at school, they have mealtime and scheduled snack times.”

Dr. Vinson said people need to make sure they rest and recuperate their mouths from time to time instead of grazing for hours throughout Zoom calls.

“Any time you have anything in your mouth other than water, it creates acid and so if you’re creating these longer acid attacks over a longer period of time, that’s not good for your teeth,” she explained.

Dr. Vinson suggested parents create a routine like what their kids would have in school.

“So, we’re going to get up, before the Zooms or e-learning period starts, have our breakfast. We may have a snack mid-morning. We’re going to have our lunch and keep the lunch period while you’re at home if possible. Don’t necessarily eat through the Zoom. Have that defined period of lunch,” she recommended.

Dr. Vinson stressed as well that food choices are important.

“When you’re in school, what you eat is definitely determined by a body of nutritionists, dieticians who are looking at federal and state mandates as far as nutrition goes. When you’re at home, you can eat Pizza Rolls for breakfast and Pop Tarts for lunch,” she said. “Because you have all this latitude in what you’re eating, you’re not necessarily making the best food choices.”

Dr. Vinson said parents may want to consider meal planning the night before, so that the meals and snacks are pre-determined and ready to go for the next day.

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