Another day on the soccer field with your child is just another day of fun and exercise for the both of you. Once halftime hits, your child runs up to you. Ready to hydrate, you hand them their favorite sports drink. You’ve even got clementines in case they need an extra boost. As healthy as these foods are, did you know they could still harm your child’s teeth?
According to your dentist in Tyler, many snacks that are often considered “healthy options” can still damage your child’s growing teeth. So next time you go shopping, keep these snacks in mind and pay attention to how much they eat. It could make a big difference in their oral health.
Many fruits fall into this category. Whether you’re biting into a grapefruit or you’ve just made yourself some lemon water, citrus is widely regarded as a healthy complement to any breakfast or meal. It’s a great way to perk up bland water and it contains vitamin C which is great for the immune system.
However, frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode your child’s tooth enamel, so it’s not always the best choice for oral health. It can also irritate mouth sores, prolonging the healing process. If your child eats a lot of citrus, make sure they drink plenty of water alongside it as well to reduce their mouth’s acidity levels.
Additionally, your child may enjoy a dried cranberry or a slice of dried pineapple. Dried fruits are great for replacing more sugary snacks like cookies in their lunch. While there is sugar that can still attack teeth, it’s not the main issue.
The main problem with dried fruits is how it sticks to teeth. Sticky foods are some of the worst foods for teeth because it tends to stay their longer than other food. If your child eats a lot of trail mix or bags of dried fruit, make sure they rinse their mouth after and brush and floss with extra care.
Pretzels and Popcorn
Ah yes, two snacks that are always on the online “healthy foods to switch to” lists. Pretzels and popcorn are great alternatives to much saltier snacks like potato chips. It also satisfies that crunch we crave when it comes to snacking. It’s exactly that crunch you should be worried about.
Since both snacks contain starch, they can easily get trapped in your mouth, so you’ll have to take extra care when flossing to remove it. Food particles from pretzels and popcorn can easily lead to plaque buildup in the teeth.
Coming full circle, we have sports drinks. Red, yellow and everything in between, sports drinks are ideal if your child is active and engaging in prolonged physical activity. They replace lost fluids your child needs to keep going and can also be quite tasty.
Other than during physical activity, sports drinks should be avoided as they are unnecessary in most cases. Confirm the sports drink you’re buying is low in sugar before giving it to your child or consider switching to water altogether.
To learn more about which foods to avoid, schedule an appointment with your Tyler dentist today and protect your child’s teeth!
About the Author
Dr. Keith O. Gerber earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Howard Payne University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry two years later. He is a member of the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, and has volunteered and donated to multiple non-profits in the area. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (903) 581-8882 or visit his website.