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Top 5 Bad Snacks for Kids Teeth

Every child loves to snack and parents are often forced to maintain a balance between keeping their kids happy with snacks and keeping their kids diet full of the right foods. Like most parenting decisions, the best approach is to find the right balance. For most families, snacking is necessary to fill the gaps between meals, and so it is useful to know which are bad snacks for kids teeth.

Bad Snacks for Kids Teeth

Below you will find 5 types of snack foods that are bad for children’s teeth and the reasons why.

Raisins and dried fruit

Even though these may seem like a good snack for kids because they are all natural, raisins and dried fruit can damage teeth because they are so sticky. Dried fruit sticks to the teeth all day long and is also hard to remove when it comes time to brush. If you are giving your children dried fruit, it is helpful to brush afterwards and to ensure that all of the residue is removed.

Hard candy

Hard candies pose a problem for teeth in two main ways. First, there is a risk of chipping a tooth if kids crunch down too hard on this snack. Secondly, hard candy contains lots of sugar. While excess sugar is bad in general, it poses direct harm to teeth since hard candy takes so long to consume. The amount of time that this snack stays in the mouth means that the teeth are exposed to the harmful sugars for a longer time period than other snacks. Tooth decay is a concern in this scenario since bacteria in the mouth consume sugar and produce acid as a result that harms teeth.

Gummy bears

While this type of candy is soft and won’t cause a chipped tooth like hard candy, it can still damage teeth since it also takes a long time to chew and break down. Again, much like hard candy, this exposes the teeth to sugar over a longer period of time, and gummy bears can also stick to teeth all day long and require a diligent brushing to remove.

Goldfish crackers and pretzels

These salty snacks leave a sticky carbohydrate on the teeth that also sticks to the teeth all day long. Ensure a good brushing after your kids consume these snacks, and especially make sure they have been removed from teeth before bedtime.

Soda and sports drinks

Soda and sports drinks both contain a large amount of sugar mixed with water. While flavorful, they are harmful for children’s diets and for their teeth. The high acidity of soda can dissolve the enamel of the teeth due to demineralization. Occasional consumption is fine but repetitive drinking of soda can lead to real damage to the enamel.

Additionally, providing kids with soda and sports drinks at a young age reinforces the notion that quenching their thirst should happen with a flavored beverage. It may be more useful to promote water as the drink of choice for kids instead so that they develop good habits while young.

Written by: Dr. T Jay Robinson, DMD

As a father of three children, Dr. T Jay understands the importance of compassion and patience when treating kids. With more than a decade of experience, he continues to look forward to seeing each of his young patients – and helping them grow into healthy adults.

Categories: Oral Hygiene

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