June 4, 2024

Snacking Your Way To a Healthy Smile

Candy and soda are not the only foods that cause cavities. Any food that contains carbs can cause cavities.  Of the foods that have cavities, the ones that stick inside your mouth are especially dangerous at causing cavities.


Some of the biggest cavity culprits may surprise you.  They include fruit snacks, fruit leather, crackers, juice, pretzels, dry sweet cereals, and more!  You might wonder, why do these things cause cavities. 


Fruit leather and fruit snacks:  both of these snacks have a  high level of carbohydrates.  However, like most fruity snacks, they are also very sticky.  These types of snacks tend to stick between the teeth causing cavities where the teeth contact each other.


Pretzels and crackers:

Although these snacks are not sweet, they are packed with carbohydrates!  They are also deceptively sticky.  Once you start to chew the dry pretzel or cracker, it mixes with the spit to create a very sticky slurry that gets stuck deep into the grooves.  Don’t believe us? Try eating a cracker and taking a peak at the grooves of your teeth 30 minutes after eating. You will still see remnants of your earlier snack. 


Juice: juice is one of our biggest culprits for cavities.  Although it isn’t necessarily sticky, people tend to sip frequently throughout the day.  Most people don’t realize that juice is just as acidic and surgery as soda. Although everyone knows soda is bad for teeth, most people don’t realize that juice is equally bad for the teeth.


Having 4-6 organized meals with water in between is recommended. Having water is important to helping prevent cavities. Saving foods that are high in carbohydrates for breakfast lunch and dinner,  and having greens, crunchy vegetables, and nut butters for snacks will improve your chances at preventing cavities. 


Important things when considering snacking is the frequency of snacking and what you are snacking on. Making small changes to frequency and the choices in snacks can make a big difference in having a healthy smile.


  • Always try to have a sip of water after every meal or snack
  •  Give your child 4 to 6 organized “mini meals” a day with only water in between.
  •   Disorganized eating or drinking will cause cavities even with healthy foods.
  • Help your child brush their teeth daily until they are six or seven years old.
  • avoid eating and drinking after brushing the teeth, especially in the evening. However, if you need a drink after, only have water after night time brushing.
  • Floss teeth if they are touching for additional protection.
  • Schedule an infant screening exam with your dentist at age one.
  • Fluoride application at your dentist every six months can also help reduce cavities by 20 to 30%.
  • Never leave a bottle in bed with the baby!
  • Get enough vitamin D


*This guide is made specifically for teeth and not overall nutrition.