Most parents know that candy is bad for teeth. Suckers, and other forms of candy are made mainly of sugar. Sugar creates acid that drills into enamel, and that small hole can become a cavity. The team at Alaska Premier Dental Group in Anchorage and Wasilla would like to discuss kid snacks.
Because sugar is bad for teeth (and overall physical health), many moms and dads choose what they believe are healthier snacks. Unfortunately, many are nearly as bad for oral health.
Let’s look at the most common kids’ snacks that are just as bad as candy.
Nutrition-wise, a dried apricot is a far better choice than a candy bar. The problem is that dried fruits stick tightly to teeth. This poses the same oral health risk as candy.
SPORTS AND ENERGY DRINKS
Few moms and dads let their pre-teens guzzle energy drinks. But many parents buy electrolyte-containing sports drinks for older children. Be sure to scrutinize the labels. Some sports drinks have as much sugar as soda.
SOY, ALMOND, OR RICE MILK
Parents whose youngster can’t tolerate lactose turn to non-dairy ‘milk.’ Most kinds come in both a sweetened and non-sweetened version. Sweetened types contain a considerable amount of sugar.
Traditional sugary granola bars should be considered candy. (Ditto for fruit snacks.)
Kids need calcium, and yogurt is a great source. Many varieties of flavored yogurt, however, have a high sugar content. Some parents keep the fridge stocked with hand-held yogurt packets. Kids who eat these throughout the day are subjecting their teeth to a continual stream of sugar.
Some manufacturers pack this healthy snack with oodles of sugar. If you can get your young children used to fruit without added sugar, they will be better off.
We all know that most cold cereal marketed for children is sugar-filled. Instant oatmeal is a convenient alternative that is healthier in many respects. Be aware that some have as much sugar as Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes.
It would be difficult to eliminate all of these items from your child’s diet. We want parents to be aware of the sugar content so they can make informed choices.
Reminding children to brush their teeth or rinse with water after eating these items is a good idea.