If your child gets hungry between meals, they may ask for a snack to hold them over. Though this is normal, many pre-packaged snacks are extremely high in sugar and carbs. Rather than loading them up with cavity-causing foods, opt for a healthier alternative to preserve their oral health and teach them good habits in the process. Read on to learn about how snacking on foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar can put your little one at a higher risk of developing cavities and for ideas on tooth-healthy snacks they’ll love.
How Unhealthy Snacking Can Damage Your Child’s Oral Health
When we eat carb-heavy foods, they break down into sugar in the mouth. The sugar from these foods or sweet treats like candy is then fed on by oral bacteria, which produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. The bacteria also create plaque, which sticks to teeth and contains even more enamel-eroding acids. This makes your child’s teeth more susceptible to cavities. If cavities aren’t treated promptly, they can lead to worse tooth decay and even gingivitis.
Though sugar and carbs can do a lot of damage to your child’s teeth, there are several tasty treats you can feed them that are better for their teeth. To lessen your little one’s chances of developing cavities, give them these tooth-approved foods and drinks instead:
- Celery, apple slices, carrot sticks, or other fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables
- Dark chocolate or sugar-free candy
- Almonds, cashews, and walnuts
- Cheese sticks or cottage cheese
- Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
- Sugar-free juices
How to Prevent Cavities
Along with feeding them healthier foods, there are many other measures you can take to keep your child from developing cavities, including:
- Tame their sweet tooth – Limit the amount of sugar your child consumes and how often they have it. Replace sweet treats with low sugar or sugar-free variants.
- Have them drink more water – Water washes away food particles and harmful oral bacteria. It also keeps the mouth from drying out and neutralizes enamel-damaging acids
- Focus on fluoride – If the water in your community isn’t fluoridated or your kid only drinks non-fluoridated bottled water, speak with their dentist about fluoride supplements. This will help strengthen their teeth and make them less likely to decay.
- Treat dental issues promptly – Make sure to take your child to the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings so their dentist can keep an eye on their oral health. The earlier issues are detected and treated, the healthier your child’s smile will be.
Limiting the amount of cavity-causing foods your child consumes may be difficult at first, but it will be worth it to keep their mouth healthy. By following the above tips, you can help your little one keep their growing smile bright and beautiful.
About the Practice
Are you a Rowlett parent worried that the amount of sugar your child eats will harm their oral health? Dr. Tera Pollock and her team at Rowlett Dental Kids can help. They can provide preventive dental treatments like cleanings and fluoride to make sure their teeth are as healthy as possible and can defend against cavities. They can also offer suggestions on how to limit your little one’s sugar intake and tooth-healthy snacks they’ll love. To schedule an appointment or for more information on how to limit cavity-causing foods, visit their website or call them at (972) 475-0301.