You can probably guess many of the foods that made it on the list below. We’re not trying to be a buzzkill who’s against all the things your child loves – we’d much rather be the “Fun Dentist!” But the fact remains, sugar produces a marked increase in cavities, and by avoiding these foods, you can promote your child’s oral health:
- Sugary Drinks. Gatorade, soda and even natural organic juices can cause cavities in between the teeth. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only 4-6 oz of fruit juice a day for your child.
- Candy. This especially goes for the sticky varieties of gummy or sour candy, or even fruit roll-ups and dried fruit. The stickier it is, the more it can get stuck in the crevices of teeth and cause problems.
- Chips. They provide no nutritional value, and they end up being broken down into simple sugars that can ultimately harm teeth.
- Pizza. Cooked starches like pretzels, crackers, and bread are also just simple sugars in disguise, all of which can be metabolized by bacteria in the mouth.
- Cookies (or literally anything else kids like). The fact is, anything we eat or drink can cause cavities if teeth are not cleaned and cared for properly, with the exception of pure water.
So how do we prevent cavity formation?
Intelligent snacking, brushing teeth after meals, and flossing daily can decrease the likelihood of cavities. “Intelligent snacking” is about knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid.
Here are a few safe snack foods that do not promote decay:
- Carrot sticks
- Sugar-free peanut butter
- Sugar-free jam
- Celery and cream cheese
- Low-sugar yogurt