Breakfast and Bad Teeth

Breakfast and Bad Teeth

Kids who skip breakfast have a more than 250 percent increased risk for developing tooth decay, according to a study of more than 4,000 children aged 2 through 5 years published in the January 2004 Journal of the American Dental Association. This dramatic effect was demonstrated in affluent families across America.

Even those who ate sugary, junk food cereal for breakfast (not what I would suggest!) were far less likely to develop cavities than those who skipped breakfast entirely. In our rushed modern lifestyle, many children miss out on breakfast, leaving their bodies hungry even when they are not aware of it. We’ve known for a while that eating breakfast has many health benefits, including better school performance and a lower risk of obesity. And teens who skip breakfast tend to smoke more, weight more, and drink more.

Now we know that eating breakfast can protect the teeth as well. In addition, children in this study who ate five servings a day of fruits and vegetables had dramatically healthier teeth than their peers. What and when we eat can help build healthy smiles.

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. askthedentist

    So Mom was right! Breakfast is not only good for your metabolism and diabetes prevention, it’s also good for your teeth! I like studies like this because it illustrates, yet again, that oral health and systemic health are one and the same. Thanks for posting!

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