Is Your Child’s Snack Good For Their Teeth?
July 20, 2018
Snacking is commonplace for kids. In fact, children of all ages like to graze throughout the day. Since their bodies are growing, it is no wonder they feel the need to fuel up more frequently than adults. Are you giving your children healthy snack options? What is good for their body may not always be good for their teeth.
Here are three quick questions to ask yourself when your child utters those familiar words, “I’m hungry. Can I have a snack?”:
Is it Sticky?
If the snack is gooey or sticky, it is usually safe to assume it isn’t an optimal choice for their smile health. Most sticky foods contain high amounts of sugar and they can easily cling to your child’s teeth and gums. Raisins, gummies, caramel and other sticky snacks can even remain on the teeth after rinsing with water. Dried fruit may have some nutritional content but it can be considered as “natural candy” as far as your teeth go. The non-soluble cellulose fiber inside dried fruit can often trap sugars on and around the teeth even more.
Is it Starchy?
White bread, potato chips and pasta are known for their threat to the waistline. However, did you know that starches and carbs can also be harmful for your teeth. Starchy snacks (think goldfish, Cheezits, etc) have the tendency to get stuck on the teeth. Before long, these starches convert to sugar and combine with bacteria – a sure recipe for dental troubles.
Is it Acidic?
You may know to stay away from sodas and carbonated beverages. But fruit juices, energy drinks and sports drinks can be just as bad for your child’s teeth. Any food or drink that is highly acidic will pose a threat to the outer enamel layer of your teeth. Once the enamel is eroded, it doesn’t grow back. If your child relies on sports drinks and fruit juice to stay hydrated throughout the day, you may find that they suffer from discoloration, sensitivity and frequent cavities. If an acidic drink or food must be consumed, try to indulge it in one sitting or rinse with water immediately afterwards to prevent the acids from bathing the teeth for several hours.
Did your “kid friendly snacks” pass the test? If not, consider some healthy alternatives that boost their body health as well as their oral health. Raw fruits and vegetables can be excellent choices, such as apples, strawberries and celery. In fact, those fibrous choices act as a natural cleansing agent for the teeth and gums. In addition, cheese and yogurt are often good snack selections. Studies even say that cheese has some cavity prevention properties.
For more tips on snacking for your smile, call Soft Touch Dentistry. Don’t let your summer munching habits send you to the dentist this year.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Thompson, Soft Touch Dentistry
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O’Fallon, IL 62269