This message from Providence Dental in Las Vegas is about harmful snacks that may fly under your radar.
Most parents know that candy is bad for teeth. Most of it is made primarily of sugar. Sugar creates acid that drills into enamel. A small hole can become a cavity. At that point, the tooth is compromised and may need dental work.
Because sugar is bad for teeth, many parents choose what they believe are healthier snacks. Unfortunately, many are nearly as damaging for oral health.
Let’s look at the most common kids’ snacks that are just as bad as candy.
Nutrition-wise, a dried apricot is a far better selection than a candy bar. The trouble is that dried fruits stick tightly to teeth. This poses the same oral health risk as candy.
Sports and Energy Drinks
Few moms and dads let their young children guzzle energy drinks. But many parents buy electrolyte-containing sports drinks for older children. Be sure to scrutinize the labels. Some sports drinks have as much sugar as soda.
Soy, Almond, or Rice Milk
Parents whose son or daughter can’t tolerate lactose turn to non-dairy milk substitutes. Most come in sweetened and un-sweetened versions. Sweetened types contain a significant amount of sugar.
Traditional sugary granola bars should be considered candy. (Ditto for fruit snacks.)
Kids need calcium, and yogurt is a good source. Many kinds of flavored yogurt, however, have a high sugar content. Some parents keep the fridge stocked with hand-held yogurt packets. Kids who eat these throughout the day are subjecting their teeth to a continual stream of sugar.
Some manufacturers pack this healthy snack with loads of sugar. If you can get your youngsters used to fruit without added sugar, they will be better off.
We all know that most cold cereal marketed for children is sugar-filled. Instant oatmeal is a convenient alternative that is healthier in many respects. Be aware that some have as much sugar as Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes.
It would be all but impossible to eliminate all of these items from your child’s diet. We want you to be aware of the sugar content so they can make informed choices.
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