Good nutrition is necessary for a child’s healthy growth. The link between a good, nutritious diet and healthy strong teeth in children is well established. However, parents do not often pay enough attention to the quality of snacks their kids consume in-between meal times. Here are the best snacking tips to keep your child’s smile healthy and beautiful.
Avoid offering starchy or sugary foods to kids during snack time. They cling to the teeth much longer, possibly causing a cavity. Fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and nuts are better alternatives. Upgrade your snacks.
An occasional indulgence in sweets and starchy snacks should be limited to mealtimes. This is because of the extra saliva produced which helps wash away the sticky sweet residues. The saliva also fights acid producing bacteria and remineralize teeth.
Watch out for added sugars in snacks and drinks. All food contains a form of sugar, but sugars naturally found in fruits and vegetables are not as harmful. The American Dental Association recommends that added sugar consumption should be less than 10 percent of total energy intake, preferably less than 5. For instance, a can of soda contains three times the daily recommended amount for a child.
Children generally prefer soda and juice, which are not as healthy as water and milk. Encourage your children to ditch the sweet stuff and favor the healthier water and milk. Milk is a good source of calcium which builds strong teeth and bones while water cleanses the mouth of food remnants which could lead to decay.
Prolonged drinking, whether its milk or juice leaves your child’s teeth in constant contact with food particles which also feed cavity-causing bacteria living in the mouth. Encourage them to drink water often and reduce snacking time to once or twice daily. Sugary drinks should be consumed at mealtimes or all at once.
At our practice, the health of the whole family is very important to us. Eating healthy nutritious snacks will keep your children’s teeth strong and healthy for life.