As a parent, it’s up to you to do the dishes, go grocery shopping, hire a babysitter for while you work…and the list goes endlessly on. You’re dedicated to maintaining your child’s health and wellbeing, and if you could knock out both of those with one stone, wouldn’t you want to? Read on to learn about five children’s snack substitutions from a pediatric dentist in Long Island City that help fight off the threat of cavities, all while remaining nutritious and healthy for their bodies!
What Foods Cause Cavities?
Cavities in children are caused by a type of bacteria called mutans streptococcus that feeds off of sugars and carbohydrates found in the mouth. They attach to plaque, feed off of food debris, and eventually release waste in the form of toxins and acids that erode the enamel of teeth. An abundance of food debris in your child’s mouth that’s heavy in sugar and carbohydrates will likely make them more prone to cavity development in both their primary and permanent teeth.
5 Children’s Snack Alternatives to Fight Cavities
A great way to help keep cavity-causing bacteria from overrunning their mouth is by changing out some of the pre-packaged snacks that they eat that are likely filled with carbs and sugar for any of the options listed below:
- Yogurt, like all white dairy products, is known to help strengthen tooth enamel and keep teeth white.
- Sliced pears with ricotta cheese may sound too fancy for your child to touch, but you’d be surprised! Pears are high in fiber and other beneficial plant compounds, and ricotta can help strengthen your child’s enamel and protect their teeth.
- Celery and peanut butter are a delicious cavity-fighting snack thanks to the fibrous texture of the celery. As your child chews it, it will act to naturally brush their teeth, scrubbing away any leftover food debris and preventing bacteria accumulation.
- Baked sweet potato fries are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which is great for your child’s eyes. They’re a nutritious snack that you won’t have to worry about affecting your child’s oral health.
- Pickles are a snack that children either love or hate. If your child loves them, keep them in their diet! They’re full of healthy probiotics that regulate their gut and vitamin K. Be sure to stay away from buying pickles that are high in added sugars.
Not only are all five of these snack substitutions healthy for their mouth, but they’re also great for their overall health and wellbeing! While it’s easy to trust a packaging that looks like it’s made for children, that’s not always the case. That’s why it’s important to vet any snacks that you’re feeding your kiddo beforehand or make them yourself, so you know that they’re beneficial to their smile and body.
About the Author
Dr. Michelle Ng is a board-certified pediatric dentist with over a decade of experience under her belt. She completed her advanced pediatric specialty training at the world-renowned Texas Medical Center in Houston. She enjoys getting to know every little one that she treats and helping them feel comfortable and have an enjoyable time when they visit. She understands that every child’s smile is different, which is why she always makes sure to learn more about her patients. For questions or to schedule an appointment for your child, visit LIC Dental Associates’ website or call 718-530-6539.