If your child is like most, they would much rather eat potato chips, candy, or other “non-healthy” snacks. Unfortunately, these cavity-causing foods in Hinsdale will only result in additional trips to the dentist’s office for fillings and/or dental crowns. To avoid spending additional time and money on restorative treatments and keep your child’s teeth looking and feeling their best, a pediatric dentist shares healthy treats they can enjoy that won’t ruin their smile.
How Sugars and Carbohydrates Lead to Cavities
According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 40% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have had dental caries. What causes these cavities (caries) is known as mutans streptococcus, which is bad bacteria. When introduced to sugar or starch, it begins to feed, ultimately producing harmful acid that begins to break down tooth enamel.
The bacteria also create what is known as plaque, which leaves a yellow-like film on the tooth and causes more acid to develop, further eroding tooth enamel. Eventually, when there is no more calcium to support the tooth, a small hole forms, otherwise known as a cavity.
Healthy Snacks to Keeps Smiles on Track
If you want your child to grow and develop strong and healthy teeth during the early years of their life, it is important they eat healthy, nutritious foods. By choosing items that contain less sugar and starch, you can not only help them avoid unnecessary restorative care (i.e., dental fillings, crowns, pulp therapy), but you can also ensure their permanent teeth erupt without problems.
When visiting with your child’s pediatric dentist in Hinsdale, do not be afraid to ask about recommended healthy snacks that will benefit your child’s teeth, not hinder them. Some of these might include:
- Yogurt – Containing protein and calcium, yogurt is a great snack that will help to strengthen their bones and tooth enamel. It also works to improve their digestive system. But before you run to the store, make sure to avoid brands or flavors that are high in sugar. Instead, opt for plain, full-fat yogurt and look for healthier sweetening alternatives like honey.
- Cottage Cheese – If your child is a fan of cheese, they’ll love this creamy mixture that is a good source of protein, calcium, and Vitamin B12, which is perfect for a child’s healthy growth and development.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs – Want a quick and easy snack? Try hard-boiled eggs. These simple and easy-to-make treats have many great benefits including healthy brain development, are good for the eyes, and contain lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Cheese Sticks – Between the nutritional protein, fat, and calcium found in cheese, these healthy snacks are sure to keep your child happy and free of cavities. Not to mention, they can keep your child full between meals, which means less snacking.
- Fruit – Apples, bananas, pears, grapes, and other colorful fruits are great sources of fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Convenient and easy to eat, kids can enjoy a quick snack that is healthy for them and provides nutrients for stronger teeth and gums.
- Salted Cucumbers – Cucumbers are a great source of Vitamin K, and they have a high-water content, both of which are great for growing smiles.
While these are only a few of the many healthy alternatives to sugary and starchy foods, your pediatric dentist can provide additional options during your child’s next visit. By incorporating these into your little one’s daily diet, you’ll be taking the right steps to keep their oral health on track.