Since February kickstarts National Dental Health Month, our team here at Kids Healthy Teeth has decided to compile a series of blogs that uncover four surprising foods that are bad for teeth. We know it can be time consuming to read every single ingredient on the nutrition facts, so we’re doing it for you!
First on the list is a food trend that’s been especially popular with babies and toddlers. It’s none other than the squeezable, pureed fruit has pouches that are marketed as healthy and convenient. You can find these packets in almost any flavor and combination of fruits and vegetables. Some of them are even labeled organic and all-natural. While it may seem like pureed fruit is a great, tooth-friendly snack for babies, these pouches are a lot more insidious than they may seem.
Why are they so bad? Well, the packets are extremely high in sugar. For example, Gerber’s organic apple puree contains 11 grams of sugar. Other flavors have as much as 20 grams! This is because the fruit contains natural sugars and when it’s condensed into a puree, it’s even more loaded with the sweet stuff.
Paul Casamassimo, research director for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, explains to NPR that the “constant exposure of sugar on their teeth is detrimental.” His concern is that parents may be feeding their children these pouches regularly because they seem healthy. In reality, these sugary treats should be viewed as a dessert and only enjoyed occasionally.
Squeezable fruit differs from regular fruit because it’s concentrated and lacks much of the fiber that normal fruit has. The texture of the puree also tends to get stuck on the teeth, allowing bacteria more time to grow.
Unless parents are active in making sure that their children brush twice a day and rinse with water after eating, kids who frequently eat these snacks run a greater risk of cavities. Regular fruit is a much healthier option for the teeth and it’s eco-friendly, too! Talk to your pediatric dentist about what foods are best for your child’s growth and development. Our doctor at Kids Healthy Teeth is always happy to help.