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Healthy Snacks That Are Ruining Your Child’s Teeth
Choosing nutritious snacks for your kids is important to help them grow up strong and healthy. But did you know that some popular snacks are actually harming your little one’s teeth? Read on for a list of good-for-you snacks that are ruining your child’s smile.
While the high vitamin C content in oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus are great for your kid’s immune system, these fruits cause lots of damage to teeth. Because they are both acidic and contain natural sugars, eating citrus often can wear away tooth enamel, making them more prone to decay.
Fruit is of course an important part of every diet, but dried fruit’s sticky texture can be a nightmare for your kiddo’s teeth. Sticky foods often get stuck in your teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Serve up fresh fruits instead for all the nutrients without the oral damage. If you do give your child dried fruit or other sticky treats, make sure they brush and floss afterwards to remove any lingering food particles.
While they may help keep your kid hydrated at his soccer game, sports drinks are usually packed with sugar. As with other sugary beverages like soda and sweetened juice drinks, sports drinks can cause a buildup of plaque bacteria on teeth that break down enamel. Instead, give your child a low-sugar sports drink or just plain water to ensure they stay hydrated and have healthy teeth, too.
Popping a few cherry tomatoes sounds like a nutritious snack. While they are packed with essential vitamins, tomatoes also incredibly acidic. Just like citrus fruits, they can wear down tooth enamel, leading to decay. Enjoy these summer staples with your family in moderation.
Everyone loves enjoying this crunchy snack at the movies, but popcorn can pose a threat to your little one’s teeth. The hulls can become lodged in between teeth, causing bacteria growth that can lead to tooth decay. Chewing on unpopped kernels can also damage enamel or even chip a tooth because they are so hard. If you do serve up a bowl of popcorn to your kids, make sure they brush, floss, and swish afterwards to get rid of any stuck pieces.
What kid doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly? The sweet and salty sandwich tastes great but is also the perfect storm for teeth. Its combination of sugary jelly, sticky peanut butter, and starchy bread promote bacteria growth that can lead to tooth decay.
Most store-bought juice drinks contain tons of added sugars along with the large concentration of natural sugars they have already. Like other sugar drinks and foods, juice can wear down enamel and damage your child’s smile. If they just can’t live without juice, try serving it with a straw to limit the amount they drink at once and encouraging rinsing or brushing afterwards.