Kids want to snack constantly. We’re all born with a craving for sweet tastes. Put these two facts together, and it’s easy to get in a situation where your kid is eating way more candy than you ever meant them to. Here at our Quincy dental practice, we’ve seen lots of families make the switch to healthier snacks, which often include raisins and other dried fruits.
Is this a good thing? Well, yes and no. Some of the candies and other sugary snacks out there are problematic on a number of levels, and cutting back or even eliminating those items can be a good thing. Dried fruits are full of fiber, which is great news for many kids – not only does fiber keep the digestive system working smoothly, it also helps kids feel full, so they don’t over eat. Dried fruits are fat free and contain many valuable vitamins and nutrients, including potassium and iron.
But raisins, dried cranberries, prunes and other dried fruit have a dark secret, and as your Quincy’s children’s dentist, we need to let you know. Dried fruit is sticky. One of the places dried fruit likes to stick is in your kids’ mouth – and these treats, while being all natural, are not sugar free. Raisins stick to the teeth for a prolonged period of time, damaging the enamel and potentially contributing to cavities.
Here’s what you need to do: encourage thorough tooth brushing, particularly after the kids have had raisins or other dried fruit. Regular cleanings help too, of course. And switch up the raisins with other healthy snacks, including breadsticks, cheese, nuts and seeds.