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Snacking all summer can lead to more cavities

The kids are home for summer…and the amount of snacking has increased tenfold. While a few snacks a day can be a good balance for nutritional needs, overdoing it or “grazing all day” can increase the risk of dental cavities.

When we eat, acids from food and drink sit on our teeth for about 20 minutes to an hour, and these acids are responsible for tooth decay. If your child is eating once every hour, the amount of time their tooth enamel is exposed to damage is significantly increased. Same goes for sipping sugary drinks throughout the day.

What’s a parent to do, especially when you have young children who only seem to want to snack? Consider the right type of snacks and drinks to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free. If possible, choose whole fruits instead of fruit cups and pouches. These provide a sweet treat without added artificial sugars and preservatives. Nothing like a good ol’ glass of H2O to quench the thirst compared to sports drinks or sodas, which can be loaded with cavity-causing ingredients.

Chips and sticky snacks can get stuck in your child’s teeth and cause cavities. Limit sticky foods like gummy candy, jelly beans and even raisins. Whenever possible, rinse your child’s mouth with water after snacking and meals.

And as always, good brushing, flossing and regular checkups make for healthy smiles all year long.


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