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Surprisingly Bad Snacks for Your Child’s Teeth

Dr. Peter, owner and pediatric dentist at VK Pediatric Dentistry discusses some surprisingly unhealthy foods for your child’s teeth and some healthy alternatives. The food industry does a very good job of using words like ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ to disguise high sugar content snacks. Here are a few foods that are actually bad for teeth and some healthy options for keeping your children happy and healthy!

Bad Snacks
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1)  Fruit Snacks And Dried Fruit

– High in sugar

– Breaks down tooth enamel

– Sticky sugar that adheres to the grooves of the teeth and causes cavities.


Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and apples. Not only are they full of important vitamins and minerals, they are full of fiber. This increases salivation and naturally buffers the teeth. Saliva helps flush out the effects of the acids and enzymes that attack teeth. Another saliva maker: dairy! At VK Pediatric Dentistry, we love hard cheese with sliced apples or making a fruit parfait with Greek yogurt, crumbled dark chocolate, and fruit sprinkled in.

2)  Potato chips

– Even the chips labeled “baked” or 40% less fat still contain starch which turns into sugar when combined with saliva.

– Chips are notorious for getting stuck in the grooves of baby teeth and can lead to cavities

– Poor nutritional content


Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios contain Vitamin D and calcium, which can help replenish minerals that help restore tooth enamel. They are filled with good essential fats that help contribute to your kids health.

3) Citrus

While citrus fruits are good for your body and immune system, they’re loaded with vitamin c, their acid content can erode enamel. When enamel is worn away the tooth is more vulnerable to decay. Orange juice is delicious but it can cause cavities, especially when in combination with other high sugar foods like pancakes, syrup.


Eat and drink in moderation. It’s best at mealtime when you are eating other foods to help balance the acid in your mouth. Make sure to drink water to help rinse afterward.

4) Carbonated Drinks

Not only is the obvious added sugar a no-no for healthy teeth, but most have citric and phosphoric acids which wear away tooth enamel. Staining is also a hazard of drinking dark-colored sodas. Don’t be surprised if your pediatric dentist scolds you at your next appointment if you’re giving your children Pepsi or Mountain Drew! They are destroyers of teeth.


Green and black teas contain polyphenols that can kill or prohibit bacteria from staying on teeth. If you use fluoridated water to make your tea, you get an added tooth strengthening bonus! If you are buying from a store, make sure there is no sugar added. Drinking water and chewing sugarless gum after eating is always a good way to help loosen food particles. Anytime you can floss and brush is even better!

Dr. Peter Markov, DMD is a pediatric dentist and owner at VK Pediatric Dentistry in Arlington, VA. VK Pediatric Dentistry provides comfortable, convenient, and quality kids dentistry for infants, toddlers, children, and teens in Arlington, Mclean, Falls Church, Alexandria, and the surrounding cities of Northern Virginia. Dr. Peter is passionate about children and children’s oral health. He firmly believes that prevention is best when it comes to kids dentistry and hopes this post helps you make educated and healthier snack choices!

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