Gummy bears are popular candies that children love. They come in a variety of colors and all types of fun shapes and sizes. Gummy bears are also small and easy to fit in a pocket and take on the go. Children also love how chewy gummy bears are because they get to enjoy the candy for longer.
Here at Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we have many parents ask us whether gummy bears are bad for their children’s teeth. The truth is that gummy bears can take a toll on a child’s oral health if there is an excessive consumption of them. Gummy bears are loaded with sugar that can linger on your child’s teeth, weaken their enamel, and lead to cavity causing bacteria.
Also, the majority of gummy bears on the market don’t contain any vitamins or minerals. Some of the chocolate ones may contain minimal amounts but not enough enough to make a positive difference in your child’s health.
If your child does eat gummy bears, make sure they brush their teeth at least an hour after to get rid of the sugar. It’s a good idea to provide them with sugar-free or vegan gummy bears as these typically cause less harm to the teeth and gums.
Healthy Alternatives to Gummy Bears
Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious foods out that are good for your child’s teeth and gums. The next time your child asks for a gummy bear or another sugary snack, try to encourage them to eat one of the following instead:
Apple slices are tasty, especially when they are dipped in a bit of almond better. We recommend them because they are high in fiber and can keep your child full for a long time. Believe it or not, apple slices also have the power to scrub away plaque from your child’s teeth.
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all examples of dairy products your child can snack on. They are excellent sources of calcium, phosphates, and vitamin D, which can strengthen and protect your teeth.
Although eggs are traditionally eaten for breakfast, they can make the perfect healthy snack for your child. Mix things up and introduce them to hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, eggs over easy, and other egg varieties. Eggs are full of protein, phosphates, and vitamin D, which are all essential for oral health.
Green Leafy Veggies
We know that green leafy veggies aren’t as appealing to a child’s taste buds as gummy candies are but we had to mention these. Green leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, and kale are packed with vitamins, which can keep your child’s teeth healthy. You can always blend them into a smoothie if your child refuses to eat them plain.
Almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and peanuts are healthy nuts that are a healthy alternative to snacks like gummy bears. They have been proven to replenish the minerals that tooth enamel acids tend to remove.
By introducing your child to healthier foods, you can steer them away from gummy candies and other sugary treats and help them achieve optimal oral health.
Contact Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
If you have further questions about gummy bears and how they may impact your child’s oral health, call us at 703-348-2813. You can schedule an appointment and allow our friendly and experienced dentists to examine your child’s mouth for any issues.