The snacks you feed your kids in between meals aren’t just important for their nutrition; they also impact their teeth. Sticky, sugary treats can cause tooth decay, especially when kids aren’t likely to brush and floss afterward. One way for parents to protect their kids’ oral health is to consciously choose snacks that promote healthy teeth.
Brought to you by our pediatric dentists, here are 5 good options that will help your kids’ teeth stay healthy.
- Fruits: True, you don’t want your kids to load up on sugary snacks, but some fruits are beneficial for your child’s teeth. Apples are an especially good choice because their fibers scrub at the teeth while your child chews. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, helps maintain gum health.
- Vegetables: Raw vegetables require a good bit of chewing, which is good for kids’ teeth and gums. Cutting up carrots, celery, or other veggies into bite-size pieces makes for a snack that is both nutrient-rich and teeth-friendly.
- Dairy: Dairy products contain calcium, which is necessary for building strong teeth and bones. Snacks such as low-sugar yogurt or low-fat cheese are good choices. Cheese also ups your saliva production, which washes away bacteria.
- Whole grains: Whole grains contain iron and B vitamins, which help prevent periodontitis (gum disease). Whole grain cereal is a good snack option for your kids.
- Chewing gum: Most kids enjoy chewing gum, but if you’re going to give it to your child, the best choice is a sugar-free gum with xylitol. Xylitol is proven to reduce the risk of cavities, so it’s a good idea to have your child chew gum with xylitol post-meals, especially if he or she cannot brush immediately.
As you can see, many of the healthiest snacks are also the best choices for kids’ teeth and gums. By providing your kids with healthy snacks, you can improve their overall health and help protect their teeth in between meals.