Local mom expert talks connections between dental health and diet

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - When taking care of our teeth, we mostly think of flossing and brushing. But diet can play a part as well. MomsEveryday host Melissa Robbins tells us more.

Melissa: When it comes to our diets...we may be underestimating the effect that it has on the rest of our bodies. When it comes to our teeth...this really stands true. I'm here with Dr. Holly Haldeman-Collins of Total Dental here in Bridgeport. We were talking about...especially kids and drinks before bedtime...candy...what should we be doing?

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Right. We want to limit the amount of snacking and sugar exposures throughout the day. If a child wants a special treat...a sticky candy or a piece of cake...something like that...that's fine...sometimes...but it's better to do it with a meal. Definitely not right before bed. The last thing that should touch their teeth before bedt is the toothbrush and the toothpaste. Don't put a child to bed with juice or soda or milk even. That can be really harmful to the teeth.

Melissa: Okay. Especially if they're sleeping with it.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Correct. You never want to put a child to bed with anything but water. Sometimes they don't even necessarily need that.

Melissa: We've always tried to be careful about just none. Even getting into the habit of drinks in the bed.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Absolutely...absolutely.

Melissa: Or it will end up all over the bed.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Right. And that's another problem!

Melissa: When it comes to sticky candy...I really like the motto...the last thing that should touch their teeth before bed is the toothbrush or toothpaste. When it comes to the candy...tell me about having with a meal or after a meal.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Once you've had any kind of food...sugar or carbohydrates...it takes 30 minutes for your mouth to neutralize that. If you've already eaten a meal and you have the candy right afterwards...it's going to take the 30 minutes no matter what. But if you wait a few hours after a meal then eat some sticky candy that's going to be another half hour that it takes it to neutralize.

Melissa: I never even though of that. Even beyond that...the digestive enzymes from eating would help you get through with it.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: Exactly!

Melissa: Thank you so much. I'm really happy to know this information now.

Dr. Haldeman-Collins: You're welcome.

Watch full episodes of MomsEveryday Monday mornings at 10 right here on WDTV.