Getting kids to eat something besides sugar-laden treats is an ongoing battle, especially if they’re still hoarding a big bag of Halloween candy. It sometimes takes a little creativity (and some outright trickery) but you can satisfy your child’s craving for snacks while still protecting their teeth and their overall health. Here are some favorite tooth-friendly snacks for kids.

child eating fruits and vegetablesFruit. Apples are a favorite among kids and adults alike, and luckily, they’re a great treat for promoting oral health. Because they’re crunchy, eating them kicks the salivary glands into high gear, which rinses the teeth and gums and helps them stay free of debris and bacteria. Tangy kiwi is another good choice, because it’s loaded with Vitamin C, which helps fight gum disease. Oranges are alright in small doses, but they’re acidic, which can damage tooth enamel if overdone. Also, be sure to stick to the fresh fruit. Dried fruit is far more sticky and is more concentrated with sugar, making it a double-whammy for teeth.

Dairy. Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are great for teeth because calcium is one of the building blocks of teeth. Just make sure there’s no added sugar in them to keep them tooth-friendly. Cheese and yogurt are also easy picks for kids and are a good source of tooth-friendly nutrients too. There’s also something about cheese in cube form that makes it more amazing.

Crunchy Veggies. Celery stalks alone may be a bit bland for a kid’s palette, but peanut butter makes them more fun. Just like apples, the crunch factor promotes saliva flow and the added peanut butter is full of protein, which is a building block for strong teeth and overall health. Since it is a bit sticky, however, make sure the kids brush afterwards.
The most important part of keeping a child’s teeth healthy is making sure they’re not getting cavities. Regular brushing habits and frequent visits to the dentist are the best way to keep them cavity-free. For more information on protecting your child’s teeth, talk to your dentist.