5 Worst Foods for Your Child's Teeth

Food restrictions start with a positive pregnancy test. In addition to obvious limitations like alcohol, pregnant women are supposed to avoid things like caffeine, soft cheese, and sushi. 

Once your child is born, you learn that newborns should only milk or formula.

But what about older children? As long as you don’t allow too much junk food, you’re in the clear, right? Well, don’t forget about your children’s teeth. Baby teeth aren’t as strong as adult teeth and put your child at risk for cavities or decay. Read on to learn the worst foods for your child’s teeth.

Are you concerned about your child’s cavity risk or just want to get them the best dental care possible? If so, come see us at Dentistry for Children in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Maryam Sina, DDS, and the rest of our staff are dedicated to providing quality care that meets the individualized needs of every child. Dr. Sina has over 25 years of experience working with children and is board-certified in pediatric dentistry.

On baby teeth

Among children ages 5-19 In the United States, 1 in 5 has untreated cavities. Although a lot of factors play into this disturbing statistic, baby teeth play a role. 

A few facts about baby teeth: They have less protective enamel than adult teeth, making it easier for cavities to spread. They’re softer and more vulnerable to the acid in juice and soda. Smaller baby teeth are also closer to nerves, so are more susceptible to infections and nerve damage.

5 worst foods for your child’s teeth

Just because you see something on this list doesn’t mean you should never let your children have it. Instead, these foods and drinks need to be enjoyed only occasionally. Also remember to help your child develop healthy brushing habits.

Sticky candy

To start, a word on sugar. Microorganisms in the mouth naturally convert sugar into acid, which can wear down the thin layer of enamel protecting your child’s teeth. Once the enamel is worn, sugar is the main culprit for cavity development.

Sticky candy is generally worse than other candies because it can easily get stuck between the teeth. Candy that’s stuck between teeth can attract bacteria and eventually lead to tooth decay.

Flavored drinks

Most flavored drinks — soda, juice, sports drinks — are a double whammy for your child’s teeth. All three are filled with sugar while also being highly acidic. Dark colas may also stain teeth.

Always make sure your child brushes their teeth at night, especially if they enjoyed soda or juice at dinner. Brushing gets rid of all the acid and sugar.

Starchy foods

Starchy foods, including bread, pasta, rice, and crackers, are filled with carbohydrates. When morsels of starchy, high-carb foods get stuck between teeth, they convert into simple sugars. The end result is a higher risk of cavities and enamel erosion.


Citrus fruits, including lemons, grapefruits, and oranges, are extremely acidic. A diet high in citrus speeds up the breakdown of enamel, which could lead to cavities and tooth decay.

Dried fruit

The formula for dried fruit is pretty similar to that of sticky candy. It’s high sugar content and sticky texture make it a high cavity risk, especially as pieces get stuck in your child’s teeth. Fresh fruit is a better alternative.

Still have questions about your child’s teeth? Dentistry for Children can help. Give us a call at one of our two convenient locations today.

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