During the warm summer months, there are tons of yummy foods available for kids. But not all of these snacks are healthy for their bodies or their smiles. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we’d like to start summer off right with a few tips on some smile-friendly summer snacks.
First, it’s important to limit sticky snacks and sugary drinks. By avoiding these choices, you’re not only helping protect your child’s overall wellness, you’re keeping their smiles safe as well. Mouth health and body health go hand in hand, so if you’re eating to keep your kid’s body in tip-top shape, chances are their smiles are thankful too!
So What Foods Should I Buy?
Instead of a juice that’s full of smile-damaging sugar, quench thirst with water. Choose healthy, crunchy snacks as opposed to gooey candies. And make sure the following healthy foods get on your shopping list the next time you head to the grocery store.
- Proteins – Foods that are high in protein are excellent at fighting acid which can cause tooth decay. Some good protein choices include nuts and turkey.
- Fruits & Veggies – Apples, pears, celery, bananas, and oranges are all helpful in keeping gums and teeth healthy because of their high vitamin A and C content. They also contain a lot of water which can help rinse dangerous bacteria from the mouth.
- Cheese – Cheese is high in calcium which not only helps build strong bones, it also helps keep tooth enamel intact.
If your kids do need to have a sugary snack, make sure the treats are consumed in one sitting instead of over a prolonged period of time. Choices like ice cream are better for the teeth than a bag of sticky candy, like taffy or licorice, that can be eaten throughout the day, increasing the amount of time teeth are exposed to sugar. And if that soda just has to go with dinner, have them drink it with a straw to keep sugar away from the teeth. Of course, water is always a better choice.
Following these tips on healthy summer snacking is a great way to protect your kids’ smiles from the damaging effects of sugary, sticky summer sweets. Of course, we always recommend seeing your Long Island pediatric dentist regularly for in-depth cleanings, thorough exams, and fun visits for a strong, healthy smile.
Serving patients in Long Island, Westbury, and Nassua County.