What we eat can significantly impact our oral health. If we eat too many sugary treats, plaque can quickly build up and metabolize the sugar into acids. These acids then attack our natural tooth enamel, resulting in cavities or worse – tooth loss.
While as adults we have probably already experienced a filling or two and know the importance of keeping our teeth happy and healthy, kids have all of this to come. To give them the best chance of a healthy smile, it’s a good idea to start early with encouraging and discouraging certain snacks.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that although the below foods are okay, it’s still recommended that parents try to limit snacking to avoid kids becoming dependent on sweet treats and food between meals. When kids do have high sugar snacks, parents should encourage them to brush their teeth straight afterwards.
Dentist approved snacks for kids:
- Wholegrain crackers with cheese
- Veggie sticks like celery, carrots and cucumber
- Broccoli trees
- Air popped popcorn (not store-bought toffee options!)
- Fresh fruit
- Low sugar yogurts
- Calcium-rich dairy
- Baked tortillas or chips
- Nuts and seeds
Although some of these don’t sound like the most fun, there are plenty of ways to make healthy snacks more enjoyable for kids. They might kick up a fuss now, but they’ll thank you later when they grow up with strong and healthy teeth.
Don’t give in to busy schedules
From football practice to dance recitals, it can be easy to top up their energy in between with cereal bars, chips and other quick snacks. And it’s not actually the snacks or sugar that are bad; it’s the bacteria within our mouths that cause the damage by feeding on sugary treats to create enamel-attacking acids. Sugar-free alternatives to their favourite candies and snacks can be an easy switch that will save them trips to the dentist in the future. Alongside this, try to avoid stocking up on on-the-go snacks that definitely don’t make the approval list:
Snacks without dentist approval:
- Sugary, chewy sweets and lollipops
- Ice creams and cakes
- Muffins and bagels
- Sports energy and isotonic drinks
- Highly acidic snacks like pickles or grapefruit
- Refined carbohydrates like crackers
If you find that eating too many of the above snacks has caused irreparable damage naturally, then, fortunately, there are still options for you. Chester Springs dental implants specialists have plenty of advice on preventing tooth decay for adults and kids, as well as top treatments that can help you get that smile.
Starting early with healthy eating habits can do your children a world of good. By teaching them the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice a day and encouraging them to eat healthy snacks over their sugary counterparts, your kids will enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles and laughter all around.
While the above dentist approved snacks are pretty common sense, they can help both kids and adults prevent tooth decay while also providing the body with all the nutrients you need to grow big and healthy. To avoid giving in and grabbing fast food options when ferrying the kids around, make sure you plan ahead and prep snacks for the whole family to enjoy.