School is in session, and even when it’s not, children love to snack. Oftentimes, it is easier to toss them a bite-sized Snickers bar than it is to cut up veggies. However, not only should you consider the overall health benefits of specific snacks for your children, you should also think about what those snacks are doing to their teeth. Because sugar can damage your child’s teeth, it is best to give them snacks that are sugar free, and actually benefit their teeth in some way. If you’re struggling to think of snacks that are healthy for your child’s teeth, we are here to help!
You may be wondering how cheese can be good for your teeth, when its stickiness seems to coat them, and wouldn’t that be bad? Well, cheese is good for your teeth for more than just the calcium it contains that helps strengthen your tooth enamel. A recent study has shown that cheese decreases the pH levels in your mouth. Lower pH levels fight plaque and, therefore, protect tooth enamel against cavities. In addition, it is believed that the stickiness of the cheese is actually a good thing, because when the cheese coats your teeth it may help protect the enamel from acid erosion.
Milk and yogurt are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate. Calcium helps strengthen tooth enamel, but also benefits teeth by mixing with plaque and sticking to teeth (similar to cheese) protecting the enamel from acid decay. Calcium also helps repair enamel, and increase bone strength around your child’s teeth which can help protect against periodontal disease later in life.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.) contain natural fats that help protect teeth against harmful oral bacteria. Also, the oils in seeds (and calcium in most seeds) help strengthen tooth enamel, making the enamel more resistant to cavity causing bacterial plaque and tartar.