With school back in session, you may be adding lunchbox snacks to your grocery list again to stock the pantry.
Buying smart snacks that are not only good for your kids’ teeth, but also high in calcium and fluoride can go a long way in saving you and your kids from a trip to see about a cavity.
Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Recommends Teeth-Healthy Snack Choices
Throughout the crackers, cookies, and snacks aisle you’ll notice much of the prepackaged foods are high in processed sugars and additives. Many ingredients hide behind unrecognizable names for a reason.
A great way to avoid these poor ingredients is to try sticking with unprocessed whole foods. If what you’re looking at is packaged in an aisle, chances are it’s been heavily processed, and these kinds of snacks can corrode enamel, cause bacteria growth, accelerate the build-up of tartar and plaque, and cause cavities.
A majority of the popular food brands are guilty of packing their snacks with high sugar content to appeal to your young ones’ tastes, but their teeth end up suffering for it. The good news is that there are plenty of tasty, teeth-friendly snacks that kids love.
6 Pediatric Dentist-Approved Tasty Snacks:
High fiber fresh fruits
- Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.
- Note that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are high in citric acid which can erode tooth enamel, so moderation is key
- Fruits add a component of sweetness to your kids’ lunchbox and are packed with vitamins
- Cucumbers, celery, baby carrots, and broccoli paired with ranch or hummus
- Crisp veggies help scrape away any build-up on your children’s teeth
Yogurt, milk, cheese
- High in calcium and Vitamin D, these foods are usually a hit with the little ones, but be careful to avoid yogurt brands that are packed with sugar
- Go for low-sugar options whenever possible
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
- Apple slices and celery stalks with peanut butter are lunchbox favorites and pediatric dentist-approved!
- Low sodium or unsalted nuts can be a great source of protein and provide a healthier alternative to chips and other common junk foods
Naturally-flavored carbonated drinks
- These are healthier alternatives to fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks
- Eggs are rich in protein, calcium, and Vitamin D and don’t contain as many calories or as much fat found in meats.
Beware of snacks that sound healthy but are not. For example, Goldfish crackers are a popular salty snack, but contain white flour that gets stuck under the gumline and between teeth which causes tooth decay. Another sneaky snack is dried or gummy fruit candies. Companies are known to add extra sugar to these treats which also becomes easily lodged between your children’s teeth. A good habit to form is researching snacks you’re interested in before buying, and always practicing moderation.
Schedule Your Next Appointment with Wilson Pediatric Dentistry
While parents can do their part to help their little ones avoid a trip to the dentist, sometimes it’s unavoidable. If your child needs a cavity treatment, teeth cleaning, or early orthodontic care, Dr. Jasmine Elmore and her team are ready to serve you. Call us at 252-291-4300 or schedule your appointment here today.