Children’s Teeth – What are your children snacking on?
Children are fond of eating sweets and snacks with no consideration for their teeth. Although as a parent you advise your children of the negative effects of eating too many sweets and unhealthy snacks, children can’t help but crave the chocolate, sweets and biscuits that they get to eat after school or the snacks that they munch on while watching their favorite cartoons over the weekend! By controlling what your children eat, you could save your child multiple trips to the children’s dentist.
Children’s Teeth & Sugar
Several companies have de developed so-called “healthy snacks”, however many of these contain substituted ingredients that can be bad for children in other ways. Many product claims state that these snacks are made from less sugar than the normal ones, or that these products contain vitamins or nutrients which will help children’s growth, maybe strengthen their teeth and bones, all of which should be researched thoroughly and you can decide for yourself on the suitability of this type of snack.
Several “healthy snacks” still negatively affect children, especially their teeth. Children are prone to tooth decay, thus the development of cavities that require treatment at the dentist. When children eat too many sweets over long periods of time throughout the day the impact on teeth can be severe.
Aside from the unhealthy cravings’ children develop as they grow older due to the excessive consumption of sugary food, they can also become obese and develop high blood pressure and other medical complications at a young age. As a parent, you have an ongoing duty to control what your children eat.
Here are some of the common snacks children consume that are not good for their teeth:
- Crackers & Biscuits
Crackers stick to children’s teeth. Since they contain carbohydrates, they become sugar when broken down. Consuming too many crackers will lead to the development of cavities.
- Dried fruit and fruit snacks
Other sticky foods such as are dried fruit and fruit snacks. They are almost made of sugar and are sticky to the teeth and gums.
- Sports drinks
You might be surprised to find this in the list, but, yes, sports drinks might be known to be “healthy,” but they also contain high levels of sugar and extra calories. What these drinks contain can lead to obesity and tooth decay.
- Protein, energy, and granola bars
Another surprising part of the list are the bars kids are fond of consuming and what parents think are healthy – protein, energy, and granola bars. Some parents choose these bars over candy bars because they think that granola bars are a “healthy choice,” but they almost have the same amount of calories and sugar. Hence, eating these types of energy bars might be harmful to children’s health and teeth.
Instead of giving children the snacks listed above, opt to buy or prepare alternative snacks that are naturally healthy:
- Low-salt or unsalted nuts
If your children do not have a nut allergy, giving them low-salt or unsalted nuts like walnuts and almonds is a good choice for their snacks.
- Low-sugar yogurt or small serving of cottage cheese
Yogurt and cheese are good sources of Vitamin D and calcium, and these foods will surely give your children healthy teeth and bones.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so this is an added nutrient to your children’s body. It is better if the fruits and vegetables are served crispy so that simply chewing these foods will help scrub children’s teeth, removing plaque and food particles.
Instead of giving children sports drinks, soda, or juice, teach them the importance of drinking a lot of water. This way, they know the health benefits of drinking water, and water will also help children rinse away food particles from their teeth and keep their mouths fresh and healthy.
Protect Your Children’s Teeth
Snacking is unavoidable especially with kids at their young age. So, if your children are constantly asking for snacks, be ready with nutritious and fresh foods that can fill up their hungry bellies. Aside from giving them healthy snacks, make sure that they also brush their teeth, floss, and visit your local dentist regularly.