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How Nutrition Effects Your Child's Oral Health

Sugary foods and drinks feed the germs that cause tooth decay. But, it is not just the amount of sugar or carbohydrates in the foods your child eats. It also matters how often your child snacks on these foods. As long as your child has an overall healthy diet, eating sweets on special occasions is okay. But, if your child sips fruit juices or eats starchy snacks all afternoon, that can be harmful to the teeth. Teeth need time to recover. Give snacks less often, and choose give tooth-friendly snacks.

Tooth-friendly Snacks

  • Cheese
  • Baby carrots
  • Apple slices
  • Cucumbers
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Other fresh fruits and vegetables

Be sure to choose snacks that are safe for children your child's age.

Tooth-unfriendly Snacks

If it is very sweet, sticky, or high in carbohydrates, it is probably an unfriendly snack. If your child uses a sippy cup, fill it with water only.

  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Crackers
  • Sticky fruit snacks
  • Juice or juice drinks
  • Sugary cereals

After a tooth-unfriendly snack is eaten, brush your child's teeth. If brushing is not possible, rinse your child's mouth with water.


Healthy meals and eating habits are vital to your child's oral health AND overall health.