Does your child have a seemingly insatiable sweet tooth? For your child’s oral health and overall health, it’s imperative to help them learn to consume sugary foods and beverages in moderation. Parents also need to teach kids to be sensible about which treats they do choose to eat. In this blog post, we give some ideas for treats that are more dental-friendly than most prepackaged candies, donuts, and cookies at the supermarket.
- Fresh Fruit
- Sugar-Free Gum & Sugar-Free Candy
- Dark Chocolate
Offer your child a variety of fresh fruits, which contain essential vitamins and minerals. For example, strawberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which will help reduce your child’s risk of developing gum disease.
Try adding sliced strawberries in your child’s cereal, oatmeal, and smoothies, on top of their pancakes, or mixed into a salad. For an extra-special treat, dip strawberries in low-sugar yogurt and freeze them. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dip strawberries into yogurt. Put strawberries on the cookie sheet and place in the freezer until the yogurt hardens. You could even add non-toxic food coloring into the yogurt for fun. Yogurt contains enamel-strengthening calcium and probiotics that support a healthy flora of bacteria in the mouth and digestive system.
Some of our other favorite fruits include crispy apples, melon, bananas, and blueberries.
Candy is one of the worst treats for teeth, especially candy that is sticky, sour, and/or chewy. Candy tends to stick to teeth, providing a feast of sugar for the bacteria in your mouth. As bacteria eat, they produce acidic byproducts that irritate gums and damage enamel, the outer protective layer of teeth. Irritated gums and damaged enamel lead to a host of oral health issues, such as bad breath, tooth discoloration, sensitive teeth, gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.
Fortunately, many companies now manufacture gum and classic candies without sugar. Whenever possible, buy gum and candy without sugar to protect your child’s teeth and gums! In fact, the American Dental Association has reported that chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after eating can help prevent the occurrence of cavities.
If your child loves chocolate, opt for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants and less sugar than other types of chocolate. It also may help reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. You can pair their piece of dark chocolate with a glass of milk for added nutrition. Cow’s milk contains many tooth-strengthening vitamins and minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. If your child is dairy-free, look for fortified alternatives.
Comprehensive Children’s Dental Care in Pleasanton, TX
At our Pleasanton office, we offer specialized, comprehensive dentistry for kids, teens, and patients with special needs. No matter what oral healthcare your child needs, our children’s dentist will make the experience comfortable and as stress-free as possible. Contact us today to set up your child’s next appointment!Contact Us
This post was written by Pleasanton Children’s Dentistry & Braces