Four Steps to a Healthy Summer Smile for Kids

Summer is here and your kids are home and eating more snacks than usual. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. They may even have a lot of fat in them too. So what should you do? According to there are some things you can do to help your kids have healthier teeth.


Candy bars aren’t the only culprits. Foods such as pizza, breads, and hamburger buns may also contain sugars. Check the label. The new food labels identify sugars and fats on the Nutrition Facts panel on the package. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey, molasses and syrups also react with bacteria to produce acids, just as refined table sugar does. These foods also are potentially damaging to teeth.

Your child’s meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including fruits and vegetables; grains, including breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, nuts and seeds. Some snack foods have greater nutritional value than others and will better promote your child’s growth and development. However, be aware that even some fresh fruits, if eaten in excess, may promote tooth decay. Children should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. (So should you!)

Four  simple steps you can take include:

  • Cut back on bottled water.  Tap water includes fluoride.
  • Eat more apples and celery.  Highly fibrous foods give your gums a workout.
  • Substitute low fat, no sugar added yogurt for ice cream. It tastes great too!
  • Stock up on straws.  Sipping acidic liquids are less harmful to your teeth.

Summer can be a healthy time for your kids with more outdoor activities.  By watching what they eat, you can help make it healthier for their (and your) teeth too.




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