Summer Snacks: Best and Worst Foods & Drinks for Your Kid’s Teeth
It is summertime, and that means a non-stop barrage of your kids asking for snacks and drinks. You want to feed them healthy and filling snacks for their body. But are they good for their teeth as well?
Snacks to Avoid
Dried Fruits & Sticky Candy – Since they are sticky, dried fruits and sticky candy like gummy bears and jelly beans tend to adhere to teeth longer. This makes it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar from the surface of the tooth.
Citrus Fruit & Juices – Frequent ingestion of acid can be harmful to enamel. This makes teeth more vulnerable to decay over time.
Crunchy Starches – Small particles from chips or crackers build up on the teeth. This causes a buildup of plaque.
Soda & Sports Drinks – Plaque bacteria use sugars in soda and sports drinks to produce acids, along with the acids that are already present in soda and sports drinks erode the enamel that protects the teeth.
Fruits and Veggies – Fruits and vegetables with a high concentration of water like pears, melons, celery, and cucumbers are best because they do not adhere to the teeth.
Dairy– Yogurt contains probiotics that may help with plaque buildup and gingivitis. Milk and cheese actually lower the acid levels in the mouth. This also lowes the risk of decay, potentially repairing damaged enamel and strengthening bones.
Nuts & Seeds – The natural fat in nuts and seeds coat teeth and protect them against bacteria, strengthen enamel and some contain vitamins that counteract gum inflammation.
Sugarless Gum – Believe it or not, this candy is actually a helpful one, the ADA has recognized Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse for their benefits in loosening plaque, increasing antibodies, and prevent tooth decay.
Water – We all know that water is best. It is arguably the most important way to keep your mouth healthy. It washes away leftover food particles and rehydrates after meals.
Regular Cleanings & Checkups – Regular examinations are essential to maintain your child’s oral health.