All foods that your child eats can hurt or help their teeth. Teeth need healthy foods, drinks and snacks in order to stay strong. Children may not know which foods can be bad for their teeth, and most kids love sweets or candy. Sweets like cakes, sodas, juices with sugars and candy can stick to teeth and caused their teeth “to get sick” and cause cavities. Candies and any food or drink with sugar (natural or processed) should be eaten in limited quantities.
Sticky, sweet and chewy foods can stick to teeth making it hard to wash away. There are many candies that are not good for your child’s mouth. Sticky candies can get stuck in between teeth and can cause cavities. Some of the sticky candies that are bad for teeth are:
• Candy Corn
• Taffy / Tootsie Rolls
• Hard candy
• Sugar Sticks
• Peanut Butter Cups
• Sugary Bubble gum
• Sour candies
If you must give sugary sweets, give them right after a healthy meal. Saliva in the mouth can help to wash away food bits after a few minutes. Try not to give your child too many juices or sodas, give water instead. Water does not hurt teeth and can wash away food bits that can be left behind on teeth. Brushing after all meals and even after snacks can help keep their teeth extra clean.
Lots of snacking during the day without brushing the teeth after can lead to build up on the teeth. Even the sugar in dried fruit and fruit candies can cause build up on teeth. Build up, or plaque, can lead to tooth decay causing cavities. Whenever you can, brush teeth after meals. Also, try serving these healthy snacks instead of sweets:
• Raw fruits and vegetables like strawberries, apples, salad, carrots, etc. If your kids are not used to eating fruits and veggies, try making the fruits and veggies into a design on their plates.
• Fruits that have large amounts of water like melons, pears, grapes,cucumbers, or celery
• Broccoli, yogurt and milk have calcium that can build strong teeth
• Sugar-free gum
• Cheese, also calcium rich and can build strong teeth
• Leafy vegetables like spinach, high in fiber and will make mouths do a lot of chewing
What you eat and drink can help or hurt your teeth. Choose healthy options to snack on that build strong teeth so that your child’s mouth is healthy. Brushing and flossing after meals is also a way to keep teeth clean and strong. Eating the right foods and taking care of teeth are some of the best ways parents can help kids keep healthy, happy smiles! ☺
For additional FAQ’s about brushing your children’s teeth, read more here.