As a parent, it can be hard to juggle your child’s schedule and the rest of life’s responsibilities. Sometimes, a quick way to save time is by giving your child pre-packaged snacks to eat while you are out and about. However, some of the most common types of children’s snacks are terrible for teeth and can lead to cavities. Below, we point out which foods to stay away from to keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free.
After all, here at Kids Healthy Teeth, we want to make sure parents have all the information and resources required to help keep their children as healthy as possible. Let’s go over that list and a few ideas on what you should do to help your child keep a healthy smile.
Starches are quite messy. Starchy snacks like crackers, chips, and cookies can damage teeth. The problem is that these complex foods won’t be as easily broken down even as we chew down on them and can get stuck between teeth and stick around long after a meal concludes.
That, in and of itself, is a problem – starchy foods stuck on teeth provide bad bacteria with sugar, which enables the harmful bacteria in your kid’s mouth to multiply and attack the enamel.
Regular brushing and flossing usually take care of sticky starches, but sometimes that’s not completely effective. If your child has a starchy snack, make sure they swish cool water in their mouth 30 minutes after they snack to get rid of any food debris that can lead to cavities.
Please pay close attention to the foods your kid usually eats, and try to join them in cleaning their mouths properly after their favorite pasta dish or any other food they like that includes starches.
Sometimes, we think we’re choosing well when getting some beverages that appear to complement a healthy breakfast or a quick energy boost after a sports match.
Fruit juice may seem like a good alternative to sodas and other sugary beverages, but fruit juice often contains as much – if not more – sugar than some of the leading sodas.
Keep in mind that, during the manufacturing process, fruit juice has been extracted from the fruit and made to lose a lot of its nutritional value. After the fiber has been taken out of the juice, what’s left is essentially highly concentrated sugar and water. Limit the number of sugary fruit juices your child consumes, or dilute the juice with some water to reduce the sugar concentration.
Some sports drinks are also packed with sugar that will hurt your kids’ teeth unless properly cleaned. Please teach your kid to brush their teeth thoroughly after taking these beverages at school or even at home.
Even if you’re already vigilant about keeping your kids away from sodas, you will do well to also watch out for sports drinks that contain just as many calories and sugar as many popular soft drinks. Water is your ally in proper hydration!
Sweet Foods and Fruits
Fruit is always good, right? Well, not necessarily. A lot of canned fruit is packed in syrup that contains unhealthy amounts of sugar. Excessive sugar can lead to cavities and many more health issues if your child eats it too frequently.
When you are shopping for canned fruit, look for those that have no added sugar or those packed in 100% fruit juice. But the healthiest way to enjoy fruit is by eating fruit that hasn’t been altered in any way.
You’ll also be surprised at the hidden sugar in these foods. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest parents avoid processed foods and canned fruits that can have excessive amounts of added sugars that only endanger their children’s teeth.
How to Fight Cavities?
We want to help your child stay safe and avoid the onset of tooth decay. It’s not just on a whim; we’re truly concerned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 45.8% of all US children suffer from some type of tooth decay.
Dairy Products are Mouth Healthy Treats
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are a great source of calcium, which plays an important role in strengthening teeth. In fact, your body stores 99% of its calcium in your bones and teeth! Milk and dairy products reduce tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel – the first line of defense against cavities.
You can help your child keep their tooth enamel strong by getting plenty of dairy products and calcium. Try giving them all-natural string cheese, nonfat yogurt, or milk to increase their dairy intake and strengthen their teeth.
Fight Cavities by Brushing Twice Per Day
Avoiding cavities begins with proper, routine oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brush his or her teeth twice per day, for two minutes for each session. Have your child follow this routine to build a healthy smile.
It can be tough to convince your child to brush for the full two minutes, but there are some fun ways to help them achieve better brushing results. Go Online to find tooth-brushing videos for children. Most of these videos are at least two minutes long and help keep kids engaged and focused while they brush.
The next step after doing a fantastic job of teaching your kids to brush their teeth regularly is to floss properly. Can you believe that nearly 43% of all school-aged kids in the US claim to have never flossed their teeth? There’s a lot of room to improve and you can help your child get to the most difficult parts in between their teeth with proper dental floss techniques. Here’s a great instructional sheet that provides some guidelines on flossing.