Healthy snacks to help prevent tooth decay in children

by Core Dental Group
Healthy snacks to help prevent tooth decay in children

At Core Dental, we encourage our patients to care for their teeth from a young age, in an attempt to prevent tooth decay forming in the first place.

Tooth decay has been linked to sweet and acidic foods. Plaque bacteria in the mouth changes sweet food into acid, and causes tooth decay.

It is very important to reduce the number of time per day that decay producing food or drink it taken. Children at high risk for decay need to have gaps between meals and reduce frequent snacking. This reduces the amount of acid formed in the mouth.

Drinks and foods to avoid

Tooth-damaging drinks include:

  • Fruit juices
  • Cordial
  • Milo
  • Quick
  • Ribena
  • Sports drinks
  • Soft drinks (including sugar-free drinks)

Tooth-damaging foods include:

  • Dried fruit
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Nutella
  • Muesli bars
  • Chocolate
  • Chips
  • Lollies

Suggested drinks and foods

Tooth-friendly drinks include:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Diluted fruit juice

Tooth-friendly foods include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Dips
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegemite

More helpful hints to help your child avoid tooth decay

  • For a healthy, balanced diet, children need three pieces of fruit and five vegetables per day, and three intakes of dairy products as well as a high intake of grains and protein.
  • If possible complete the grocery shopping without the children, and think savoury, not sweet.
  • As fruit can be acidic, frequent consumption can damage tooth enamel. It is advisable to have a small square of cheese or a drink of milk or water after eating fruit, in order to wash away the acidity.
  • Avoid having lollies in the house. Buy a weekly treat (like a plain chocolate Fredo Frog, an icy-pole or an ice-cream that is not sticky and it goes through the mouth quickly). Chuppa-chups or Minties are bad because they are sticky and stay in the mouth for a long time.
  • Chewing sugar free gum for 10 minutes after consuming lollies is a good alternative to brushing teeth, as this stimulates saliva flow and washes out the mouth.
  • Water and milk between meals is highly recommended.
  • Before going to bed your child’s teeth should be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste *a pea-size ball of low fluoride toothpaste for children under seven years of age), and ten have nothing to eat or drink other than water.

Is your child due for a dental check up? Call one of our friendly reception staff on 13 13 16 to make an appointment with one of our general or paediatric dentists.