Sport Snacks That Make for Unhappy Teeth
Did you know that the US Youth Soccer organization has over three million players between the ages of five and nineteen registered? And that’s just the kids registered by US Youth Soccer. You can see the evidence of the game’s popularity every week during soccer season. Youth teams are playing on indoor and outdoor fields across our cities and counties. Week after week, at the end of every game, the designated parent of the week passes out the drinks and treats for a game well played.
Treats to Avoid
The list of drinks and treats below, usually include some of the worst cavity causing culprits, including:
- Citrus fruit and citrus juice, which contain high levels of citric acid that demineralize the protective enamel coating of teeth
- Carbonated drinks and sports drinks, which are high in sugar and citric acid
- Candy of all kinds, but also so-called “health food bars,” which many times are as high in sugar as a candy bar. Sticky and gooey candies are particularly bad for teeth because they stay on the teeth longer, causing sugar exposure for a longer period of time. Plaque bacteria in the mouth use that sugar to produce acids that attack the enamel.
- Dried fruits, such as raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, and figs. These are not only full of sugar, but stick to the teeth just like sticky and gooey candies. In fact, these fruits are full of non-soluble cellulose fiber. This fiber helps bind and trap sugars on and around the tooth so they are actually worse than candy!
- Starchy foods such as potato chips and tortilla chips, which get caught between teeth and ultimately turn to sugar. Starches can begin converting to sugar in the mouth almost immediately, not only by the bacteria in the mouth, but also by the enzymes in saliva.
So, the next time it’s your turn to give out the treats after a game, don’t promote dental decay! Instead of sports drinks, give out bottled water. Instead of bags of chips, give out apples. Encourage other parents to do the same!
Take a step farther to safeguard your children’s dental health by scheduling preventive care appointments. Learn more.