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 With the start of school comes the start of after-school snacks! Here are some delicious ideas to help keep your child’s mouth healthy and cavity-free.

Apples: Apples are crisp, nutritious, and tasty. They also provide fiber, which balances out the sugars they contain. Apples and other crisp fruits scrape plaque and food debris away from teeth, acting as a kind of natural toothbrush.  Avoid fruit juices, as they are high in sugar and acid and do not contain fiber.

Cheese: Cheese is high-protein, high-calcium, and low-sugar. This is a great combination for teeth! The nutrients it provides helps strengthen tooth enamel, and the low sugar content is great for overall mouth health.  Try goat cheese for extra flavor, calcium, and protein, with fewer calories!

Raw Veggies: Dark, leafy greens and crisp raw veggies are especially good. Crisp veggies act similarly to crisp fruit as they scrape away plaque and food debris. They stimulate saliva production, and provide many vitamins and nutrients important for a healthy diet. Dark, leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium and other necessary nutrients.

Water: Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for a mouth-healthy smile. Fluoride is a substance that makes teeth more resistant to the acids produced by bacteria that can cause cavities. About 75% of the US population has access to fluoridated water. Just think–water from your kitchen sink is excellent protection against cavities!

For more information about how to keep your child’s smile bright this school year, call Central Washington Pediatric Dentistry at 509-248-2973. And if you are in the Yakima, Washington area, Dr. Neal Smith and our team will be happy to see you child for a back-to-school dental appointment! We look forward to helping you and your child have a successful year!