According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most common childhood chronic disease is tooth decay. One in five children suffer from untreated cavities and, with the rise of childhood obesity rates in America, it’s obvious that candy and sugary drinks are contributing to cavities, baby bottle tooth decay, and other dental problems. Luckily, kids can enjoy a number of tasty treats without the risk of ruining their winning smile. By making a few simple substitutions around snack time, they’re sure to have a more successful visit to the dentist; without cutting out all the tasty treats.
Gingerbread cookies actually contain much less sugar than most cookies, decreasing the chance of tooth decay in children. Sugar and plaque are always working together to weaken enamel so anything that contains less sugar is always a better choice. Not only that; gingerbread cookies are high in fiber. Fiber keeps the saliva flowing in your mouth which creates necessary defenses against cavities. If your child can’t help but indulge in a sweet dessert, gingerbread cookies are the best choice for their teeth.
Fresh Fruit Smoothies
Fresh fruits such as strawberries, watermelon and bananas can create a super tasty, healthy smoothie that gives even the sweetest milk shake a run for its money. Strawberries contain malic acid which can actually help to remove surface stains on your child’s teeth. Watermelon is full of vitamin C and contains mostly water, which helps stimulate saliva flow. Bananas contain natural sugars and don’t stick to your teeth. Blending strawberries, watermelon and bananas, along with fresh squeezed orange juice or milk, will create a healthy dessert sure to bring a smile to any child’s face.
Sugar-Free Gums and Candy
Today, there are plenty of alternatives to the classic sugary treats thanks to Xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener which is said to do everything from increase saliva flow, to decrease plaque causing bacteria. Purchasing gum and hard candies made with this, as opposed to the tooth-torturing kind, can make a world of difference for your child’s teeth. While it may be harder to hunt down, there are several companies online offering everything from chocolates, to soft candy, to cavity fighting lollipops. Not only that, candy made with Xylitol is just as delicious, allowing you to make some discrete substitutions.
If your child can’t live without the sweet stuff and it’s beginning to affect their dental health, consider swapping out some sugary snacks with these sensible alternatives. Preventative dental practices should start young. Your child will thank you later; and your dentist will surely thank you at their next successful appointment.