Is your child one of the millions of school kids that snacks from the vending machine at school each day? Vending machine snacks are convenient because they give your child a quick, easy way to satisfy their hunger. But they’re also high in sugar, which makes them a recipe for getting cavities and, ultimately, spending a lot of time at a children’s dentist in Sioux Falls getting cavities filled. Not to mention that high-sugar snacks can lead to “sugar crashes” that affect your child’s behavior and ability to concentrate. The good news is that a recent study showed that most children will eat any snacks that are available to them, whether healthy or unhealthy. That makes it much easier to reduce the sugar in your child’s diet by making sure they have access to healthier snacks throughout the day. Learn more below!
How Does Sugar Affect Your Child’s Oral Health?
When your child consumes sugary foods and beverages, acid is produced in their mouth that attacks their enamel and causes cavities.
But it’s not only the amount of sugar that matters – it’s also the frequency of exposure. For example, if your child finishes a soda within 20-30 minutes, their risk of cavities will be much less than if they sip on 1-2 sodas all day.
And since both snacks and beverages are usually consumed throughout the day, the sugar content in them will have a big impact on your child’s oral health.
How Can You Make Sure Your Child Has Access To Healthy Snacks?
Fortunately, you don’t have to take sugar away completely, especially since having an occasional soda, cookie or other sweet treat is an enjoyable part of growing up. But one great way to reduce the sugar in your child’s diet is to simply include healthy snacks in their school bag to “crowd out” the high-sugar items they might be tempted to eat.
There are countless low-sugar ideas online for inspiration, but here are some great examples to get you started:
- Veggie slices with guacamole, hummus or nut butter
- Fruit salad
- Deviled eggs
- Turkey roll-ups with mustard and carrot sticks
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk or water (instead of juice or soda)
In addition to reducing sugar, you can also minimize the amount of children’s dentistry in Sioux Falls your child needs by scheduling regular checkups and establishing good oral hygiene habits at home.
Making sure your child has healthy snacks as part of a well-rounded approach to their oral health will help them have strong, healthy teeth for life!
About the Author
Dr. Kari Bolen is a general and children’s dentist in Sioux Falls and also a mother of two. A firm believer in giving children a great start with their oral health, she loves teaching kids and their parents how to care for their smile so it lasts a lifetime. If you’re a parent and would like to know more about the impact of your child’s diet on their oral health, she can be reached via her website or at (605) 339-0219.