June 12, 2015

7 “Healthy” Snacks to Avoid for Teeth

We all try to eat healthy and give our children only the best of the best. Unfortunately, some snacks sound deceivingly healthy but are very likely to cause cavities. Do you give your child mostly “healthy” snacks?  Find out if your child’s snacks are truly good for teeth. 

Fruit Juice: They are high in sugar, especially if it is from concentrate. Harvard School of Public Health indicates that fruit juices are not a better option, and “ounce for ounce it contains as much sugar and calories as soda pop.” Choose a fresh orange over orange juice, or a fresh apple instead of apple juice for added benefits of vitamins and fibre.

Yogurt: Yogurt snacks that are targeted for children are often full of sugar. Yogurt tubes or yogurt snacks are very sweet. If you are going to give yogurt to your child, opt for plain and unsweetened ones and add your own fruit. The “yogurt” covered nuts or pretzels are even worse, as they provide no healthy benefit of probiotics and are very sweet. 

Granola Bars: They may have whole grains or multi-grains and sound healthy but they are not. They often have more sugar and calories than candy bars. They are very sticky and get stuck to little pits and grooves of teeth very easily.

Crackers: Even though they are not sweet, they can still cause cavities. When they get wet, they get very sticky and difficult to clean from pits and grooves of teeth. 

Fruit Snacks: Whether it is a fruit roll-up or all 100% natural juice fruit snacks, they may sound healthy, but they are not. They are just gummies that are made with a bit of fruit juice from concentrate. Try avoiding sticky dried fruits such as raisins, craisins, apricots and mangoes even though they are natural. They are very sticky and often have added sugar. They stay on teeth even after brushing! 

Vitamin Gummies: Vitamins are good for you. Vitamins in sugar gummies are not good for teeth. Pick vitamins that are sweetened with xylitol instead of sticky sugar sweetened gummies. Read more about xylitol here

Sugar Free Pop: Even though they contain no sugar, they are often very acidic and can damage teeth. Read more about sugar free soda here

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving South Surrey, White Rock and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.

“Dr. Ella is a great pediatric dentist. Her staff is very friendly and caring. I had to bring my nervous 6 year old for her first filling. Dr. Ella took the time to explain every step and even showed her how fillings are done on her finger nail. My little girl did so well! We will only see Dr. Ella from now on.” Courtney B.