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Top 4 Foods That Damage Kids' Teeth

fruit cup Children are as susceptible to marketing messages and the desire for convenience as adults are, especially when it comes to food. Dr. Jennifer McLeod and the staff at Newberg Family Dental, a dental practice in Newberg OR, challenge patients of all ages to avoid the following foods to help keep their kids’ teeth healthy!

Toaster Strudels or Pastries

These highly-processed kinds of breakfast foods are high in sugar and empty calories, but offer very little in the way of nutritive value for children who need to power through until lunch time. They are often made with as many as fifty different ingredients as what’s evidenced on the label, and much of what constitutes a toaster strudel or pastry is sugar molded into different forms, from the pastry itself to the “fruit” filling and the frosting and/or sprinkles that go on top. Help your kids maintain a healthy smile by avoiding this “breakfast food” altogether.

Pre-Packaged Food

Tempting because they are so convenient, these kinds of foods come in cans or other packaging that requires a great deal of preservatives. Canned ravioli or spaghetti, ramen noodles and boxed pastas like macaroni and cheese also contain sodium that exceeds a recommended serving for a child in one day.

In addition, these highly processed foods lack protein, fiber and essential nutrients that children need. The high sugar content also does not help maintain good dental health. Stay away from these pre-packaged foods and opt for versions made at home and stored in the fridge for easy heating.

Kid’s Meals

Also pre-packaged, the kid’s meals can be found in both the supermarket and fast food restaurants. They are made from processed foods that are full of sodium, preservatives, sugar and empty calories. For example, a kid’s meal that contains a cheeseburger, small fries and a small soda has over 800 calories and 40 grams of fat.

These convenience foods contain very little in the way of actual nutritious items and a lot of bulky packaging and marketing material. Even on those busiest days, opt to make a simple meal of eggs, toast and fruit instead of purchasing one of these meals for your child.

Sugary Drinks

Not technically a “food,” a wide range of drinks high in sugar and empty calories can accompany a child’s meals and snacks. With many kids playing sports, sports drinks and energy drinks have become increasingly popular but are terrible for a child’s teeth and overall health. Sodas of all kinds and nebulously named drinks like “fruit punch” also have little to no nutritional value.

Juices that are 100% juice should still be limited to once a day, as they are high in sugar but don’t contain any fiber. Opt instead to serve your child milk or water throughout the day to quench thirst and keep them going!

Helping your child eat and drink well will give them a foundation for a healthy smile for life. Keep their teeth healthy with a visit to Newberg Family Dental, known for excellent dental care services in Newberg, OR. Call (503) 538-7717 to schedule your appointment!

Photo Credit: darwin Bell via Compfight

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