As a new parent it’s important to understand which snacks cause cavities so you can keep your little one’s teeth in the best possible shape. No need to visit the dentist any more than regular checkups and cleanings if you don’t have to right? Below is a quick list of the best and the worst offenders. The general rule is this: avoid refined sticky foods and choose natural foods with natural fibre.
Good Snacks for Children’s Teeth:
- Fresh Fruits: Apples, pears, and strawberries can help stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids in the mouth.
- Vegetables: Carrots, celery, and bell peppers are not only nutritious but also act as natural toothbrushes by helping to clean teeth and gums.
- Dairy Products: Cheese, yogurt, and milk are rich in calcium and protein, promoting healthy tooth enamel and overall oral health.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and cashews are good sources of nutrients and can provide a satisfying crunch without the added sugars found in many processed snacks.
- Whole Grains: Whole-grain crackers, whole wheat bread, and popcorn (without excessive butter and sugar) are better alternatives to sugary snacks.
Snacks to Limit for Children’s Teeth:
- Sugary Snacks: Candies, cookies, and sugary cereals can promote the growth of harmful bacteria that contribute to cavities.
- Sugary Drinks: Soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks are high in sugars and acids, which can erode tooth enamel.
- Sticky Snacks: Gummy candies, dried fruits, and fruit snacks can stick to teeth, increasing the risk of decay.
- Processed Snacks: Chips, crackers, and packaged snacks often contain refined carbohydrates that can break down into sugars, leading to plaque formation.
- Acidic Foods: Citrus fruits and sour candies can weaken tooth enamel due to their acidic content.
- Excessive Starchy Foods: While not inherently bad, starchy foods like potato chips can get trapped between teeth and contribute to plaque buildup if not cleaned properly.
Tips: Encourage water consumption after eating to help rinse away food particles and sugars. If your child does indulge in less healthy snacks occasionally, ensure they practice thorough oral hygiene by brushing and flossing to maintain good oral health.