Mom/Dad, I’m starving, do we have any snacks?
As parents and caregivers, how many times do we hear these words in the run of a day? We all know that snacking has a direct impact on our children’s overall health and that includes their oral health. Some of the snacks and beverages they consume are just what cavity-causing bacteria thrive on.
Here are some tips to help you and your kids choose snacks wisely as they head back to the classroom.
Choose fewer sticky snacks.
Sticky foods like gummy fruit snacks, chewy caramels and dried fruit all stick to the surface of our teeth longer than many other snack options. Other readily available snacks such as crackers, cookies or potato chips break down into sugars that stick to our teeth. We want to avoid overdoing it with any type of food that stick to children’s teeth after chewing. But let's be real, kids are going to eat those sticky snacks every so often. So when they do, encourage them to brush their teeth afterward.
Drink lots of water, and then drink some more.
Water helps wash away food debris from the surface of our teeth after we’ve eaten, and it provide healthy hydration. Canada’s Food guide encourages Canadians of all ages to drink more water in place of fruit juices or other sugary beverages – it is good for our overall health and good for our dental health.
Choose foods like raw vegetables and fresh fruit to snack on. These foods are quick to clear the mouth so they don’t have much of a chance to produce cavity-causing bacteria. An additional bonus to these fresh options is their high-water content (see our previous tip ☝🏼).
Read the labels.
When you’re standing in the grocery store wondering what snack foods to purchase for your family, take a close look at nutrition labels. You might be surprised at what you find. Did you know that the average cup of juice has 30 grams of sugar? That is equal to 8 teaspoons. Most packaged foods in Canada must have a nutrition facts label that can help you choose healthier snacks. Being more educated will help you make informed decisions.
Talk to us.
Finally, take the opportunity to talk to your hygienist and dentist when you come in for check-ups. We can provide you with the information you need to support your child’s oral health and keep their smiles bright for life!