The Healthy Snacks That Ruin Your Child’s Teeth | Thomas Orthodontics

The Healthy Snacks That Ruin Your Child’s Teeth

bowl of dried fruit

Establishing a nutritious and balanced diet is one of the best ways to help create a healthy lifestyle for your child, whether they have braces or not. As a parent, you’re always trying to do the best you can for your kids, and being encouraging of making choices like snacking on a piece of fruit instead of potato chips will have a positive effect on their overall health. However, did you also know that some of the foods that are often marketed as healthy are terrible for your teeth?

Before you pass over that healthy labeled snack, ask yourself what’s in the food that you’ve chosen for them to eat. Snack smart and be choosy for your kid’s by avoiding these treats.


Most people think of granola as a healthier alternative to cereal because it’s often advertised that way. However, what you are not seeing advertised is that granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat. The added sugar leads to tooth decay, and the number of high-density calories can quickly lead to overeating. When looking at a nutrition label on granola, choose the label with the highest fiber content, and the lowest amount of sugar. When chosen correctly, granola can be added into milk or yogurt for an additional dietary benefit without the increased sugar.

Trail Mix

When it comes to mixed nuts, there are many different varieties to choose from. Trail mix is a fantastic substitute for an unhealthy snack, but use caution when making your selection of snack mix, especially if your child has braces. Unhealthy ingredients that can raise the amount of sugar and fat content should be avoided. Add-ins such as chocolate, dried fruit, and candy quickly transform this otherwise healthy snack into an unhealthy one.

Dried Fruit

Most parents think of fruit as a healthy snack, but dried fruit is more often than not, an exception to this rule. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts and none of the water that helps to make fruit a healthy choice is present in the dried variety. On top of an increase in sugar, dried fruit also tends to stick to teeth and braces, making it no better than a piece of gooey candy. When looking to fruit as a sugar swap, fresh is best.

Fruit Smoothies

Parents and children alike love smoothies because they’re a great way to reap the nutritional benefits of fruit and vegetables into one tasty cup. Smoothies can be packed with sugar and calories if made improperly. Whether creating or purchasing a smoothie, be sure to limit the amount of fruit that is high in sugar. Avoiding fruits such as figs, grapes, mangos, cherries, and pomegranates will help to lessen the amount of sugar in your sweet treat.

Flavored Water

Drinking a glass of water becomes a little more exciting for your taste buds when you add in a bit of something extra to give it some flavor, and there’s no harm in that…right? Wrong! Depending on your add-in of choice, you might be damaging your enamel more than you think.

Lemon and Lime Wedges

Citric acid within lemons and limes can have a significant damaging effect on your teeth. Citric acid wears away the enamel and allows other acids and sugars access to the tooth underneath, which leads to cavities over time.

Water Drops

These tiny squeeze bottles contain concentrated flavor that can be added to water a few droplets at a time, adding both sweetness and a bright, new color. If you use water enhancers, follow the guidelines for serving sizes and how many times a day they’re recommended to use. These water drops are often sweetened with sugar and other artificial ingredients that can be damaging to your enamel.

Instilling A Healthy Diet

There are many tasty, filling snacks that are less harmful to your teeth – and the rest of your body – than foods loaded with sugars and low in nutritional value. A mouth-healthy diet is an essential piece of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth and their journey with braces, schedule an appointment with Thomas Orthodontics today.