Most people think that sweets and lollies are the main foods to blame for tooth decay but bacteria not only use the sugar in sweets to create acid but can also use any food that contains sugars and other carbohydrates.
This includes fruits, peanut butter, biscuits, crackers, potato chips, dried fruit, snack bars, muesli bars and popcorn to name a few. Especially harmful can be foods like raisins and peanut butter that stick to teeth where they provide a constant source of energy for bacteria.
It’s not practical to cut out these foods completely but, it’s good to remind them occasionally to think before they snack. If you can plant a useful seed in their minds about tooth-friendly eating you’ll be giving them the best chance of enjoying healthy teeth for years to come.
So what foods provide a good alternative? Recent research shows that cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child’s teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella all stimulate saliva glands to clear the mouth of debris. Saliva provides a strong protective film to the teeth and helps to wash away and neutralise the damaging acids. Other good snacks are nuts and fruit (as long as you wash it down with some water straight after you’ve eaten).