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What are Smile-Friendly Snacks & How Can They Prevent Cavities?

May 16, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — midlandkidsdentist @ 5:49 pm
a child snacking on a peach outside

Cavities are so common among children because they’re still learning how to properly brush, floss, and care for their smile. Although it may be a big feat for any parent to take on running a cavity-free household, there are some ways you can reduce the chances of your favorite smiles being affected by this ordinary dental concern. Keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked with smile-friendly snacks is a great place to start! Read on to learn how certain snacks can reduce your child’s risk of decay.

How Can Snacking Lead to Cavities?

The same rule that applies for children applies for adults—snacking throughout the day can provide the bacteria within the mouth with an endless buffet of debris to consume. As the bacteria feed off of the sugars and carbohydrates that linger in the nooks and crevices of the teeth, they release waste in the form of acid.

With time, this acid can lead to the decay of teeth by first eroding the protective enamel, eventually creating pathways through the tooth to its inner cavity, where the pulp lies. This is usually only the case if the signs of decay aren’t caught early enough to seal and prevent the cavity from growing.

What Snacks Can Lead to Cavities?

Bacteria love to feed off of carbohydrates, like sugars. In addition to the frequency of your child’s snacking, the types of food they eat can also impact cavity development. Some snacks that can increase your child’s risk of decay if they frequently consume them include:

  • Potato chips
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Dried fruit
  • Bagels, crackers, and starchy foods
  • Cereal

What Snacks Can Help Prevent Cavities?

Snacks that can help naturally brush their teeth, like celery, as well as ones that are lower in carbohydrates can help keep your child’s pearly whites healthy and clean. Here are a few tooth-friendly snack ideas from your dentist in Midland:

  • Yogurt is not only delicious frozen and from the refrigerator, but it’s also an excellent source of protein and calcium.
  • Celery with peanut butter is an excellent and delicious two-piece treat that offers both sweet and fresh flavors.
  • Cheese is not only a great source of calcium, but dairy products have also been shown to help strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables can be a good substitute for more processed foods that may be higher in carbohydrates and are a great source of key nutrients and vitamins essential for growth.

It’s important to keep in mind that carbohydrates aren’t inherently bad for your child. In fact, they’re a crucial part of the food pyramid! However, occasionally substituting chips or fruit juice every now and then for a tooth-healthy alternative like the snacks listed above may be able to help keep cavities at bay.

About the Practice

Drs. Ramu Vuppala and Thomas Youngblood are highly experienced, compassionate pediatric dentists with a knack for helping growing smiles stay healthy and happy! Together, they offer a variety of kid-focused dental treatments and gentle, comfortable care that’s perfect for infants, children, and teens alike. To schedule an appointment, visit Midland Kid’s Dentist’s website or call 432-520-5437.

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