When shopping for foods, there is a difference between options that offer full-body health and options that offer ideal dental health. Even if a food provides minimal calories and great nutritional value, you should be aware of the potential problems it can cause in a child’s mouth.
While you do not need to ban the foods, proper oral hygiene habits will help keep their mouths clean and prevent long-term problems in the future.
A quick snack option for children and easy to pack in a lunch bag, dried fruits can last longer in the pantry, but the chewy nature of the fruit can lead to multiple dental problems. The fruit can become stuck in a child’s teeth. The combination of sugars and acid can lead to major oral problems like swollen gums or cavities.
Common options include raisins or prunes. When you shop for dried fruits, you also want to be aware of added sugars. Many companies will coat fruit in extra sugar to improve flavors. Even harder dried fruits like banana chips present problems. Along with added sugars, banana chips may have hard and sharp edges that cut the gums.
When possible, stick with the whole fruits to help protect a child’s mouth and provide nutritional value.