DOES FREQUENT SNACKING PRESENT PROBLEMS for your family’s oral health? Well, it depends. Every time we eat, our mouths go to work cleaning things up and restoring “balance”. Having three meals a day is one thing. But when we continuously snack, our mouths struggle more to maintain that clean, happy balance—especially when we’re eating the wrong kinds of foods. So take a minute to learn about how to encourage your kids to snack smart.
The Types Of Foods We Snack On Make A Difference
Some snacks are hard to resist, but they’re also harder on your teeth. This includes starchy foods, sugary foods, and really acidic things like orange juice or energy drinks. So what does it mean to snack smart? Snacking smart doesn’t mean you have to cut out those hard-to-resist snacks altogether. After all, what are we supposed to do in the theater while we’re watching a movie?! But smart snacking DOES mean a couple of things: 1. Being more aware! Start noticing WHICH snacks you’re giving your kids, and WHEN. 2. Keeping “teeth-healthy” snacks handy. At first your family might miss the sweets. But very quickly, tastes will adjust and smart snacks will easily tide your kids over between meals. Here are some suggestions:
- Crunchy, fibrous vegetables and fruits, like apples, actually scrub your teeth and increase saliva flow.
- Protein-rich foods like beans, meats, and eggs have phosphorus and minerals that help build strong teeth. Try edamame as a snack!
- Cheese is sugar/starch free, and dairy products are high in calcium which is great for teeth.
Did You Know An Apple Is Like A Mini Toothbrush?
Next time your kids ask for a snack, put away the crackers and cookies, and choose something that’s good for their teeth instead. Enjoy this video that explains more!
Eating Treats With Your Meals
Now there’s no need to eliminate all of your kids’ favorite snacks. If you choose, having a starchy or sugary treat once in a while is fine. Eating them at the right time can help too, and potentially have a less damaging effect on teeth.
- Eat treats WITH a meal to help dilute their effects and wash them down. During meals, you have increased saliva flow to clean away debris, counteract acids, and remineralize your teeth.
- Follow up with brushing or rinsing—and when brushing isn’t convenient, consider chewing on some sugar-free gum.
Do you have smart snacking tips of your own? Or maybe ways to make healthy snacks more appealing to your kids? We’d love to hear them! You can leave a comment below, or you can always reach us on our Facebook page.