Dentist-Approved Snacks Your Kids Will Love

girl eating apples out of a basket of fruit, a tooth healthy snack in wilson, nc

With the high levels of processed sugars in most pre-packaged kids’ foods, choosing quick snacks for your children can feel like a minefield. While some foods contribute to the growth of bacteria and plaque, others can actually protect dental health. But which treats are the best for teeth? Are there any healthy snacks that are easy to make and serve on the go?

Your dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, is here with some tips.

No Fuss, Tooth-Healthy Snack Ideas from Your Dentist in Wilson, NC

A general rule of thumb for picking healthy foods for yourself or your kids is sticking to whole foods and limiting processed foods. What’s the difference? Whole foods typically consist of just one ingredient. These include fresh fruits and veggies, meats, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products. Processed foods, like cookies, chips, or sodas are often high in sugar or fats.

Usually, whole foods are around the outside of the grocery store, while processed foods are up and down the aisles. Here are a few easy-to-prepare, tooth-healthy whole foods kids will love.

Apples

Not all sweet foods are bad for your teeth. Most fresh fruit can provide a sweet taste without risk of tooth decay. The dietary fiber in apples also helps stimulate saliva, which pairs with the fruit’s high water content to rinse off your teeth while you chew.

Yogurt

Yogurt, like most other dairy products, is rich in calcium and protein, which help to make teeth stronger. However, not all yogurts are created equal. Look for yogurts that are low in sugar and fat content. If you want to sweeten the yogurt yourself, you can always add fresh fruit.

Cheese

Cheese also contains calcium and protein, but it comes with its own unique benefits as well. Cheese has been shown to increase the pH level in your mouth, decreasing the acidity. Lower acidity levels means lower risks of decay.

Cheese sticks and cheese wheels make great on-the-go snacks that require no prep. Cheddar also pairs nicely with sliced red apples.

Oatmeal

Whole grains like yogurt, brown rice, and those found in whole-grain bread bring a lot of healthy fiber to your diet. However, whole grains also have the added bonus of fighting gum disease. Oatmeal is a great choice because it’s low-fat, filling, and an easy to prepare. You can also add fruit, like bananas, strawberries, or apples to oatmeal to make it more interesting.

Like yogurt, you need to watch out for sugar-added varieties. Stick to old-fashioned or steel rolled oats.

Celery

Celery is a dental superfood. High water levels? Check. Dietary fiber? Tons of it. Sugars? Almost none. Crunchy celery also massages your gums as you chew, improving their health. Other raw vegetables will also provide similar benefits.

Unfortunately, few kids appreciate the taste of raw celery. Just jazz it up with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or cream cheese and your kids won’t be able to get enough.

Want more healthy ideas for your kids? Your Wilson, North Carolina, dentist will be happy to discuss dental-friendly snacks at your child’s next checkup. Schedule your appointment or contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300

How Can Dental Sealants Protect Your Children’s Teeth?

dentist applying dental selants to a child's teeth with a purple light

Teaching children to brush and floss efficiently enough to prevent cavities can be a challenge for even the most diligent parents. Factor in all the juice and other sweets children get their hands on and it’s no wonder over 40 percent of kids under 11 develop cavities on their baby teeth. 

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to protect children’s teeth from plaque, bacteria, and decay. Many parents today are turning to dental sealants for help.

How Dental Sealants Work

So how can dental sealants protect your children’s teeth?

A dental sealant is a very thin layer of plastic coating that is applied to the surfaces of teeth. They are most often used on the back teeth where most chewing takes place. The sealant fills the grooves and crevices of the teeth to form a protective shield over the enamel. This protective shield forms a barrier between food and the actual tooth, making it more difficult for sugar and other harmful substances to attack the tooth.

Applying Sealants

Applying dental sealants is not a difficult process. Your children’s teeth will first be cleaned and dried. Then an acid substance is placed on the teeth to provide the sealants something to bond with. After rinsing and drying the teeth again, the sealant is then “painted” onto the teeth with a brush where it then hardens.

Dental sealants are recommended during the cavity-prone ages of six to 14. Dental sealants can last for up to 10 years and will be inspected for wear and tear during regular checkups. Many insurance companies provide coverage for the cost of dental sealants for patients under 18 years of age.  

Where to Get Dental Sealants for Your Children

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is happy to provide dental sealants and other treatments for your child. We understand that visiting a dentist can be scary for a child and that’s why we’ve dedicated our practice to providing the best possible experience for young patients in a fun and comfortable environment. Our team has years of training and experience working with children, even ones who have had negative experiences at a dentist in the past.   

Schedule an appointment today for our Wooten Blvd location in Wilson, NC to help put a smile on your child’s face.