5 Worst Foods & Drinks for Children’s Teeth

At Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry, many of our team members are parents and understand how difficult it can be to ensure that your children maintain a healthy diet. While we know that it’s fun to indulge in the occasional sweet treat or junk-food snack, we want to educate our patients and their parents about the effect food has on the health of their teeth. We’ve come up with a list of five of the worst foods and drinks for kids’ teeth to help you avoid some of the most common cavity-causing culprits.

1. Soda

The number one spot on this list probably doesn’t surprise you! The high sugar and acid content in soda wreaks havoc on your teeth and body. The sugar feeds bacteria living in your mouth, which create more acid that dissolves your enamel. Over time, this will cause cavities and discoloration.

Cluster of open pizza boxes on the floor next to cans of soda that are 2 of the worst things for your kids teeth

2. Starches

Foods high in starch (such as pizza, potato chips, white bread, etc.) can also be harmful to your smile. Starches are often sticky and get stuck in the crevices between teeth. If they linger in your mouth, they break down into simple sugars, leading to a tasty feast for your oral bacteria and an increased risk of cavities for your teeth!

3. Sticky Candy

All candy containing sugar is harmful to your teeth. However, sticky candies (like caramel, lollipops, sugary gum, jellybeans, etc.) do even more damage because they stick to the surfaces of teeth, providing a extended breeding ground for acid-producing bacteria. If you eat any sticky candies, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward to help wash away the sugary residue from your teeth.

4. Juice

Although juices often contain necessary vitamins and nutrients, most fruit juices are high in calories, sugar, and citric acid. Citric acid wears away tooth enamel and can lead to cavities. Just like with candy, rinse your mouth with water after drinking juice to limit its negative effects. Drink fruit juice in moderation and eat most of your fruit fresh and whole!

5. Dried Fruit

Although dried fruit may seem like a healthy snack, its high sugar content and sticky texture will increase the risk of cavities. Dried fruit has a decreased percentage of water and vitamins per serving, so fresh fruit provides a healthier alternative that will still satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ask us additional questions about how to keep your child's teeth healthy and strong, or schedule their next dental appointment!

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