5 Tooth-Friendly Snacks to Serve Your Kids

5 Tooth-Friendly Snacks to Serve Your Kids
Posted on 02/26/2021

5 Tooth-Friendly Snacks to Serve Your KidsAt any given time, an estimated 20 percent of children aged five to eleven and 13 percent of young people aged 12 to 19 suffer from one or more untreated cavities. Parents have every right to feel concerned about these statistics, especially with the easy availability of sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

If you worry about the state of your children's teeth, you can take action to protect them with a wide range of nutritious foods and drinks that make snack time fun while supporting dental wellness. Take a look at five kinds of tooth-friendly foods and drinks you can serve your kids between meals.

1. Cheese and Other Dairy Goodies

Cheese, yogurt, milk, and other dairy products pack a serious punch when it comes to aiding dental health. These products contain generous amounts of calcium, a critical mineral for jawbone health. They also offer a protein called casein (which strengthens tooth enamel) and phosphates (which reduces acidity in the mouth).

Cultured dairy products such as yogurt contain probiotics — healthy bacteria that can keep unhealthy bacteria from overgrowing in the mouth and digestive tract. The combination of probiotics and calcium in yogurt can reduce your kids' risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and even bad breath.

Bear in mind that your kids can't enjoy the full benefits of dietary calcium unless they also get a healthy amount of Vitamin D, which helps the body process the mineral. Fortunately, daily sun exposure allows the body to make its own Vitamin D. You can also look for many foods and supplements fortified with this vitamin.

2. Treats Sweetened With Xylitol

Not every kind of sweetener causes tooth decay. Natural sugars and high-fructose corn syrup create this risk because bacteria use them as a food source, producing acids as a byproduct. The acids, not the sugar itself, actually causes the damage to children's teeth. Artificial sweeteners and natural alternatives do not create this problem.

If you really want to do your kids' teeth a favor, consider buying gum, candy, or other products that use xylitol as their sweetener of choice. When bacteria consume this naturally occurring sugar alcohol, they lose the ability to take in the sugar they need, which causes them to die off before they can damage teeth.

Research indicates that xylitol chewing gum can reduce the levels of destructive oral bacteria in the mouth by up to 75 percent (without destroying the healthy bacteria you want to retain). It may also help the bones absorb calcium, which is another healthy benefit for teeth and bones.

3. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of health benefits, including dental benefits. Although some of them contain natural sugars, they also contain water to help dilute those sugars in the mouth. At the same time, chewing on crunchy fruits and vegetables can remove plaque from teeth and encourage production of mouth-cleansing saliva.

Ideally, you should fill your children's mealtime plates half full with fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Between meals, serve sliced apples, carrots, celery sticks, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables that kids enjoy.

4. Nuts of All Kinds

Nuts have long served as a convenient, reliable, filling between-meal snack. Beyond their obvious appeal to the taste buds, however, many kinds of nuts offer a variety of nutrients that support dental health. For instance, both almonds and peanuts provide lots of calcium (with peanuts also supplying complementary Vitamin D).

Cashews offer an especially astounding range of tooth-healthy nutrients. When your kids munch on cashews at snack time, they receive helpful doses of zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, and members of the B vitamin family such as thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B6.

5. Fluoridated Water and Tea

In addition to its critical importance in many life processes, water has the ability to dissolve solid materials. This property makes it especially useful for rinsing away food particles before they can turn into bacteria-attracting plaque. Water also dilutes acids that might otherwise lead to tooth decay.

Fluoridated water provides even more dental benefits. Fluoride helps support the teeth's natural ability to remineralize their enamel, helping your kids maintain strong, cavity-resistant teeth. If your household does not get fluoridated tap water, ask your dentist about other forms of fluoride supplementation.

If your kids like tea, you can feel good about serving this healthy beverage to them between meals. Both black tea and green tea offer yet another source of fluoride protection. They also contain substances called polyphenols, which kill bacteria and reduce your kids' risk for inflammatory gum disease.

The caring experts at Dentistry for Children & Adolescents can provide regular checkups, professional cleanings, treatment of dental disorders, and ongoing wellness advice for your children. Contact any of our locations today to schedule a pediatric dental appointment.

DentistryforChildren&Adolescents

Dentistry for Children & Adolescents

  • Edina Office - 7373 France Ave. S., Suite 402, Edina, MN 55435 Phone: 952-831-4400
  • Burnsville Office - 14050 Nicollet Ave. S., Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: 952-435-4102
  • Minnetonka Office - 6060 Clearwater Dr., Suite 210, Minnetonka, MN 55343 Phone: 952-932-0920

2021 © All Rights Reserved | Website Design By: Intrado | Login