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Healthy Food & Drink Choices

What you offer your child to eat and drink can have a big impact on his/her teeth.

Some foods are more likely to cause tooth decay than others. It is important that your child eats a healthy, tooth friendly diet.

Drinks

Drinks can contain hidden sugars that raise the acid levels in the mouth, making tooth decay more likely.

Tooth friendly drinks:

  • Milk
  • Water (especially fluoridated)
  • Unsweetened decaffeinated tea

Drinks to limit or avoid include:

  • Juices (limit to no more than 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juice at mealtimes only)
  • Soda (avoid)
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade (avoid)
  • Lemonade (avoid)

Snack Foods

Foods that are tooth friendly include:

  • Firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, celery and carrots
  • Cheese
  • Chicken, turkey and other meats
  • Nuts

Foods to limit or avoid include:

  • Hard or sticky candies
  • Cookies
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers

Foods with high amounts of sugar:

  • Cereals
  • Granola bars
  • Flavored yogurts

When purchasing these foods, look for products with the least amount of added sugars.

These foods cling to teeth. As long as they are on the teeth, cavities can form. If your child eats these foods, serve them only at mealtimes or on special occasions.

For more information on good nutrition, visit these resources:

Let’s Go!

ChooseMyPlate.gov

Your job is to offer your child a wide variety of healthy food options. Limiting foods with sugars to mealtimes reduces your child’s chance of getting cavities.

Next time you are food shopping, read the labels on the packages to avoid hidden sugars including cereals, granola bars, flavored yogurts, dried fruits, sauces and dressings. Choose tooth friendly options for your child!