Now that we are approaching September, it’s time to shop for back to school clothes, supplies and snacks. The days of camps, vacations and no school work are coming to an end (if only temporarily). This means that your kids are likely to be away from you for longer period of time while they are in school and possibly after-school programs, and daily dental care becomes even more important.
A few things to consider:
- Give your kids fruits and vegetables to take to school as "healthy snacks" instead of carbohydrates. Choose fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as pears, melons, apples and cucumbers. Limit bananas and raisins, as these contain concentrated sugar and stick to the teeth.
- Avoid sticky, chewy foods. Raisins, dried figs, granola bars, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies, jelly beans, caramel, honey, molasses and syrup stick to teeth, making it difficult for saliva to wash them away. If your child takes these to school as a snack, give them a bottle of water to drink after they eat the snack.
- Get your children in the habit of eating as few snacks as possible. The frequency of snacking is far more important than the quantity consumed. Time between meals allows saliva to wash away food particles that bacteria would otherwise feast on. Try to limit snacks to no more than one or two a day.
- Offer your child plain water instead of juice or soda. Juices, sodas and even milk contain sugar. Water does not harm the teeth and aids in washing away any food particles that may be clinging to teeth.