Ah, snacks. They are a staple in the diets of almost all kiddos. As most moms can attest, leave the house without snacks at your own peril.

So what snacks are good for your kid’s teeth and which should you leave on the shelf?

At Floss, we see a lot of kids and families. Pediatric patients are some of our favorite because we get to help them establish really good oral care habits from the very beginning. Anything our office can do to help prevent early childhood decay, we are in! So let’s dive into those delectable, sweet and salty pleasures of childhood and separate the OK from the decay.

Popular snacks that are bad for children’s teeth

Teeth can have some very deep grooves on the biting surface, especially baby teeth. Typically, snacks are a highly processed, effortless to-go food that easily get stuck in those deep grooves. Any snack that tends to be sticky or chewy has a higher likelihood of increasing the risk of early childhood decay.

Popular snacks NOT recommended by Doc because they contribute to decay:

  • Fruit snacks
  • Fruit-by-the-foot
  • Gushers
  • Cookies
  • Goldfish
  • Cheez-its
  • Sticky candy

Healthy snack alternatives for kids that reduce the risk of cavities

The less processed the snack, the better for your child’s overall and dental health. Healthy and unprocessed, or less processed, snacks decrease your child’s risk of developing cavities.

Doc’s recommendations for healthy snacks:

  • Applesauce
  • Hard cheese
  • Fruit
  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Salami
  • Almonds
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Carrots

Stock up on the healthy snacks and if your kids do end up with a mouthful of goldfish, just be extra diligent in helping them brush when they are done. Practicing good oral hygiene with brushing and flossing twice a day, plus a healthy diet will help keep your child’s teeth growing strong.