A healthy snack is always a great addition to any diet, but some healthy foods are terrible for teeth. Try limiting these damaging “healthy” foods in your child’s diet to help them maintain a healthy smile.
1 – Trail Mix
A fantastic substitute for unhealthy snack foods is trail mix. But, be careful! If you decide to serve your child trail mix, look out for unhealthy ingredients that can add unhealthy amounts of sugar and fat to their plate. Try to avoid trail mix that has chocolate, dried fruit, and candy. Look for mixes that are unflavored and don’t contain any added sweets.
2 – Dried Fruit
Fruit is always great, right? Wrong! Dried fruit is a food that you should avoid if you’re trying to improve your child’s oral health. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Let’s use prunes as an example. Prunes are just dried plums, except just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar. However, one plum contains just 75 calories and 16 grams of sugar. The bottom line is that you should choose fresh fruit and not dried fruit.
3 – Citrus Fruits
Fruit can be great for improving health, but it can sometimes damage teeth. Citric fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemon and tangerines have a high amount of acid in them which can lead to tooth enamel erosion. If you serve your child citrus fruits, rinse their mouth out with water after they’re done eating to wash the acid away, and help prevent cavities from forming.
4 – Granola
Granola is typically advertised as a healthier alternative to cereal that people can add into their milk or yogurt for an added dietary benefit. But here’s what they’re not advertising: granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat. The added sugar can lead to tooth decay, and the high density of calories can leave your child hungry and cause them to overeat.
If you do choose granola, compare the nutritional values of your options and choose the one with the highest fiber content, and lowest amount of sugar.
Try Cheese or Fibrous Fruits!
Cheese is high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth. But the benefits of cheese don’t end there. It also contains a protein called casein, which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. Cheese also helps prevent acid from destroying tooth enamel.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, celery and nuts are fantastic snacks that are healthy for teeth. That’s because the fibrous nature of these foods allow them to scrub teeth as they’re eaten, which cleans teeth of damaging sugar and acid buildup on the tooth’s surface.