Your kids work hard at school, and a lot of the time they come home hungry. But it’s not quite time for dinner… so you search the pantry for a snack to hold their growling tummies over. Snack options for kids can vary in nutritional quality and not all are created equal when it comes to oral health. Let our Long Island pediatric dental office help making snacking decisions easy with our guide to healthy choices for little smiles.
Questions to Ask
There are a few basic questions you can ask yourself if you’re unsure if a snack is smile safe or not. Before selecting a snack for your child, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it sticky?
- Is it sugary?
- Is it exposed to the mouth for a long period of time?
If the answer is no to all of the above, there’s a good chance it’s a safe bet. Foods that are packed with sugar aren’t the best choice. Those with sugar and a sticky texture are worse. And snacks that are sugary, sticky, and in the mouth for awhile are ones to stay clear of.
Smart Snacks for Smart Kids
Stock up on some of the following foods for happy kids and happy mouths.
- Cheese – A stick of cheese can lower the mouth’s pH and decrease the chance for decay.
- Almonds – Packed with calcium, almonds are great for bone health.
- Apples – Crunchy fruits and veggies can clean teeth in between brushings for an extra level of care
- Carrots – Like apples, the crunch of carrots helps scrub teeth clean. Carrots are also a great source of fiber and vitamin A.
- Celery – Another crunchy option, celery provides a healthy combo of vitamin A and C, both of which are antioxidants that can boost health.
Take it One Step Farther
Besides helping your kids make smart choices about their snacks, you can really help keep their mouths healthy by practicing good oral health habits like brushing and flossing daily. Make sure they’re getting a thorough cleaning by setting a timer for two minutes and let them brush until it dings. It’s also important for them to visit their pediatric dentist in Long Island at least twice a year. These visits can catch any problems early and it’s a great time to take advantage of preventive dentistry treatments like sealants and fluoride.
If your child is in need of a dentist, call our pediatric dental office in Long Island to schedule an appointment.
Accepting patients from Long Island, Westbury, and Nassau County.