It’s no secret that kids love to snack on sweets. All that sugary goodness is what fuels their active little bodies for school and playtime. But those kinds of snack endanger children’s teeth, on top of their overall health.
Eating large amounts of sugar can form acids that damage the teeth’s enamel, according to Saltlakepediatricdentist.com. From Salt Lake City to New York City, dentists only see one result of consuming excessive sugar: caries, or tooth decay. Parents can prevent caries with the right snack options.
Healthier Food Options for the Teeth
A good place to start is fruits and vegetables. Choose those that have a high fiber and water content like watermelons, apples, and pears. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that they act like a detergent that washes away and counterbalances acids in the mouth. They also help in the flow of saliva that can wash away sugar and other food particles.
Cheese and yogurt are also good snacks to help saliva flow for faster food breakdown. They, along with other dairy products, help bring back calcium and other minerals to the teeth. On the contrary, sticky foods and sweets take a longer time to be broken down and cause higher risks of tooth decay.
When it comes to beverages, water is the smartest choice for tooth protection. Water washes away any food particles that attract cavity-causing bacteria. Stick to plain water instead of drinks mixed with citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. They can erode enamel and make the teeth more prone to damage.
It is also wise to limit the number of times your child eats snacks in one day. The intervals between meals allow saliva to break down food and cleanse the mouth of particles that bacteria would feed on. Don’t forget to have your child brush his/her teeth immediately after every meal.
Good oral hygiene is still the best defense against tooth decay. Your child can eat any food and still have great dental health with the right set of habits.