Refined Carbohydrates & Oral Health

Posted Nov 11th, 2015 in Health & Nutrition, Helpful Tips for Parents

Refined Carbohydrates & Oral Health

Refined carbohydrates break down into simple sugars when they linger in the mouth, making them just as bad as sugary sweets when it comes to your child’s oral health.


What are refined carbohydrates?

Refined Carbohydrates are plant-based foods that have had their whole grain extracted through a refining process. This refining process removes fibre, and the majority of the food’s nutritional value.

Examples of refined carbohydrates are white bread, pasta, and crackers.

Why are refined carbohydrates bad for teeth?

Refined Carbohydrates are associated with tooth decay and cavities because when starches from white flour linger in the mouth for a long time, they break down into simple sugars.

Bacteria in the mouth feeds on these sugars and produces acids, which in turn causes tooth decay.

Basically, refined carbohydrates can be just as harmful for your teeth as candy.

What should my child eat instead?

To replace refined carbohydrates with a more nutritious alternative, try introducing less processed sources of carbs. Carbohydrates and grains that haven’t been processed are known as unrefined, or whole, grains.

Whole grains retain their natural nutritional value because they do not undergo a refining process. That means they’re full of many oral health-friendly nutrients that will help your child’s teeth grow healthy and strong.

Some great sources of Whole Grain Carbohydrates include

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

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

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