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If you are a parent, you understand that your child’s oral health is important and work hard to get your kids to practice a proper tooth-brushing and flossing routine. Starting this habit with baby teeth is important because it establishes the foundation for a healthy smile.
However, it’s easy to forget about tooth decay and cavities when the kids are crying for snacks, and you have to find something quick.
Additionally, when it comes to your own teeth, a hectic schedule can also put you at risk of grabbing a not-so-healthy snack instead of a healthy one.
It’s wise to have healthy snack options handy at all times for both you and your children.
The Good Snack List
The following five foods make great, tooth-friendly snacks for kids:
- Dairy – Hard cheeses and yogurt help strengthen teeth and have calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen teeth.
- Veggies – Crisp vegetables like carrots and celery are healthy and help keep teeth clean.
- Fruits – Like veggies, crisp fruits like apples and pears are healthier snack alternatives.
- Popcorn – Offering popcorn rather than potato chips or candy is a step in the right direction.
- Hummus – Hummus paired with pita chips is also a better option than potato chips or candy.
Water or milk should be offered rather than juice or soda as the latter contain large amounts of sugar and acid.
The Bad Snack List
- Candy (except dark chocolate) – Candy contains tons of sugar which feed oral bacteria and quickly lead to decay. Hard candy is the worst as it can also break teeth.
- Baked goods – Cookies, cake, and even bread contain both sugar and simple carbohydrates, which tend to stay in between teeth for long periods.
- Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits are full of acid that can break down enamel and allow decay to reach the dentin faster.
- Dried fruits – These fruits contain high amounts of sugar and stick to teeth which encourages decay to develop.
- Potato chips – Like baked goods, chips are made from simple carbohydrates and act like sugar, while their consistency makes them get stuck in between teeth.
Stay away from sodas, fruit juices, and pickled foods as well.
If you or your kids consume any of the above snacks, be sure to drink water immediately after.
Do not brush for 30 minutes following the consumption of acidic foods or drinks as the acid temporarily loosens enamel on teeth which can be destroyed when brushing too soon.
Comprehensive Dental Care in San Diego, CA
La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics has been offering complete dental care in San Diego, California, for almost 30 years and practices a conservative approach. Dr. Kohani and his team are committed to preserving natural teeth whenever possible and ensuring their patients’ smiles for life.