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Chew on these Smart Snacking Tips for Kids from Pediatric Dentists

Nov 12, 2015 - 09:11 AM EST |  Posted under: Pediatric Dentistry
school lunch boxes for kids with food in the form of funny faces

All kids like to snack, but your kid’s dentist doesn’t always like what snacks can do to their teeth. Get a taste of the truth about snacking and discover which snacks are better for kids’ smiles.

Most Snacks are More Than a Mouthful of Sugar

As a parent, you want to keep your child’s teeth healthy. While brushing, flossing, and professional dental check-ups are the cornerstones of a healthy smile, pediatric dentists warn that snacks can easily sabotage the best dental care for children. See, many popular snacks today are packed full of sugar. And many parents don’t realize that even healthy-sounding or natural snacks can have as much sugar as candy. And if those sugars aren’t removed with good dental hygiene, they can lead to cases of cavities. This is why your kid’s dentist will tell you that choosing the right snacks is vital for healthy smiles.

Safe Snacks for Sparkling Smiles

Pediatric dentists strive to provide the best dental care for children, but they’re well aware that kids also want great-tasting snacks. Luckily, your child can have their snack and eat it, too, as long as they make healthy choices. Ask your kid’s dentist to recommend some tasty snacks that won’t do damage to teeth. And teach your child that sugary snacks should be seen as occasional treats, not as everyday options. To help your child develop better snacking habits, follow these healthy snack suggestions:

  • Choose foods that are naturally low in sugar, such as cheese, pretzels, crackers, and nuts.
  • Whenever your child enjoys a sugary treat, have them eat it all at once to limit their exposure to its sugars.
  • After snacking on anything, encourage your child to drink a glass of water, chew some sugar-free gum, or brush their teeth to help remove any sugars stuck to their teeth and neutralize any acids.
  • Don’t permit snacking after your child brushes teeth at night since the sugar will linger on their teeth all night long.
  • Limit your child’s intake of sodas, juices, and other drinks full of sugar and acid.
  • When these drinks are occasionally enjoyed, make sure your child drinks them through a straw to reduce their contact with teeth.
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