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Snacking: A Slippery Slope to Cavities

child drinking from a sippy cup

Your child’s diet can affect his or her teeth. And sugar isn’t the only culprit; many snack foods are to blame, too. Here are some healthy nutrition habits to help protect baby teeth:

  • Don’t give kids soda in a sippy cup. This encourages them to nurse it all afternoon, leaving sugar on the teeth. Instead, give kids calcium-rich low-fat milk.

  • Limit sweet snacks, crackers, potato chips, and other starchy foods.

  • Avoid gooey or chewy sweets. They stay on the teeth longer than foods that your child will swallow quickly.

  • Have sweets as a dessert after a meal instead of between meals.

“Dental Hygiene: How to Care for Your Child's Teeth.” American Academy of Family Physicians, November 2010. familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/children/parents/kidshealthy/healthy-choice/227.printerview.htmlAccessed 2013.

“What Foods Cause Tooth Decay in Children?” Know Your Teeth, American Academy of General Dentistry, January 2012. www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/articleAccessed 2013.

“Child Dental Health.” Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, July 12, 2013. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childdentalhealth.htmlAccessed 2013.

“Snack Smart for Healthy Teeth.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. http://www.nidr.nih.gov/health/pubs/snaksmrt/sec4.htmAccessed 2013.

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