4 Holiday Snacks Your Child Should Avoid

Holiday Snacks Your Child Should Avoid

The holidays are an indulgent and decadent time for children and adults alike. There are holiday baked goods; there are candy canes at school and parades; there are stocking stuffers. The list goes on.

While “everything in moderation” is always a good practice to follow, there are also certain snacks that your child should avoid this holiday season.

Ultimately, sugars (even natural sugars) combine with the bacteria in your child’s mouth to create an acid. This acid then attacks the outer layer of the teeth, causing tooth decay.

Foods that are particularly high in sugar and have a certain texture that make them stay on the teeth for a long period of time are particularly bad when it comes to dental health.

Holiday Snacks Your Child Should Avoid

  1. Sticky Sweets

    Sticky sweets like jujubes and caramels—the types of candy you might decorate a gingerbread house with—are particularly bad for your children’s teeth.

    The reason is that they easily get stuck in your child’s teeth and stay there for long a time. This gives more time for the acid to eat away your child’s enamel.

    The excessive chewing of some of these candies can even cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

  2. Dried Fruits

    Dried fruits may seem like a relatively healthy holiday snack, but they can be bad for your children’s teeth.

    They are another sticky snack that is problematic for the same reasons as above. Again, many dried fruits contain a high degree of sugar; essentially, the sticky bits of fruit get stuck in the cracks of your child’s teeth and the acid has a longer time to cause damage.

  3. Eggnog & Hot Chocolate

    Eggnog is another classic holiday beverage that is (perhaps surprisingly) bad for your children’s teeth. In fact, it’s one of the worst beverages for teeth. The reason is that it contains both a lot of sugar and dairy.

    Dairy contains natural sugars, which has the same effect on teeth as refined sugar! The same holds true for hot chocolate.

    Consider making homemade versions of these classic holiday beverages with sugar-free almond or soy milk instead.

  4. Candy Canes & Peanut Brittle

    Candy canes are a classic holiday treat that are also notoriously bad for your teeth. Not only do they contain sugar, but they are also hard enough to cause chipped or broken teeth! The same is true for peanut brittle as well.

    It is a good idea to soften the peanut brittle a bit before eating it.

    The sucking nature of consuming candy canes also means that the sugar has a longer period of time to stay on your teeth.

The Takeaway

Moderation is always key. Ensure that your child is also diligent in their oral hygiene, especially during the holiday season.

Smile Town is a pediatric dental clinic specifically designed for children. Our pediatric dentists will make your child’s dentist appointment positive and fun. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact us here.