The Worst Food and Drinks for Your Child's Teeth

The Worst Food and Drinks for Your Child’s Teeth

As a parent, you want the best for your child, and with that comes giving them a healthy diet and ensuring those foods aren’t too harsh on their teeth. Some children can be a bit fussy about what they eat and drink earlier on in their childhood, so it’s always important to be aware of their nutrition needs and have some substitutes in mind for just such an occasion.

Certain foods and drinks can cause plaque and tooth decay much faster than others, even some you may consider healthy. Today, we will go over a list of the foods and drinks to avoid when it comes to your child’s oral health, so your next pediatric dentist visit is filled with smiles and not cavities. 

Foods to Avoid

Sticky Candies (and Most Other Candy Too)

Children love sweets. But, too much sugar is bad for teeth no matter what stage they’re in. Chewy, sticky candies should be avoided as much as possible. They stick to teeth and dissolve tooth enamel faster because of it. Make sure your child is brushing and flossing after any candy they eat to help clear it off their teeth and gums.

Crackers, Chips, and Other Starches 

While there isn’t a lot of sugar in chips and the like, they are loaded with starch and that ends up turning into sugar. These snacks also get caught in between teeth and can be hard to get out if you aren’t a diligent flosser. 

Staying on top of your child’s brushing and flossing is essential to remove stubborn, starchy food particles before they start to break down and feed the bacteria that causes plaque and tooth decay. After eating crackers, chips, or other starchy products, make sure your child brushes and flosses well to make sure they’ve removed all the particles that can stick on and in between their teeth. Better yet, avoid these types of foods whenever possible.


Who doesn’t love the tang and snap of a good pickled veggie? Unfortunately, Pickles, as well as other pickled veggies, can weaken tooth enamel due to the acidity. Weakened tooth enamel can lead to tooth decay. Eating pickles sliced up alongside other food is a better way to manage the pickle-lovers in your house. And as always, a good brush after a meal can do wonders to stave off tooth decay. 

Dried Fruit

We see the word “fruit” and think it must be a healthy snack, but unfortunately, dried fruit can be a cavity culprit. Not only is dried fruit a chewy snack, but while fruit already has a lot of natural sugar, dried fruit often has even more added sugar. All that sugar combined with the chewy texture makes them a great candidate for tooth decay (in the same way that sticky candy is). Substitute real fruit for dried fruit and ensure a good mouth rinse after to help avoid cavities.

Drinks to Avoid

Soft Drinks

Pop is the #1 culprit for cavities in children. The carbonation in soft drinks is acidic and eats away at the tooth enamel and causes cavities faster than many other items due to its volume as a liquid. In addition, the high sugar content is especially harmful to teeth, as it coats the entire mouth and sits on teeth, feeding the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Sugar free soft drinks still have the same amount of carbonation in them, so those won’t do much to keep cavities at bay. Avoiding soft drinks is preferred, but if they do partake, just make sure brushing is next on your child’s to-do list after a pop break.

Fruit Juice

While fruit juice may be a good source of vitamins, it is also a substantial source of sugar. As a result, it can be just as harmful as soda if drunk often enough. Just like soda, if your child does drink it, just make sure they are rinsing their mouths well or brushing afterwards.

Yummy Tooth-Friendly Snacks

You may be thinking “what can I give my child as a snack?” Let’s go over some of our favorite cavity-safe food options you can choose as substitutes to the more sugary or starchy foods above.

Some tooth-friendly food and drink include:

  • Milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, peaches, and oranges 
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Raw vegetables or whole wheat bread with hummus dip

Your Search For A Caring Pediatric Dentist Ends With Us 

At Chillicothe Pediatric Dentistry, we take pride in creating and maintaining healthy smiles for your children with an environment that is fun and comfortable. We focus on establishing oral health habits that last a lifetime, with education and prevention as our primary tools.

We offer many services and options no matter what your child’s oral health care needs are. Your child’s comfort and wellness are top priority. Give us a call or visit us online today to set up an appointment for your child and see the difference that a great pediatric dentist can make.