Safe Snacking for Healthy Teeth

 How do sugars attack your teeth?

various types of sugar

Bacteria live in the mouth and form plaque on the surface of teeth. When you eat sugar the bacteria eat it and turn it into acids which dissolve the enamel covering your teeth. If you don’t eat much sugar, the bacteria can’t produce as much acid to damage your teeth. Certain sweets do more damage than others. Chewy sweets spend more time sticking to your teeth and give your teeth a longer sugar bath.

 How do “Safe Snacks” protect against tooth decay?


Although children will invariably opt for snacks that are full of sugar, its important to change their mindset and provide something better for their teeth.

Think about when and how often they eat snacks. Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to affect your teeth for 20 minutes before they are neutralized. If you eat sweets or other high risk foods, it’s best to eat them as dessert after a main meal instead of throughof-brush-your-teeth-clipart-you-can-use-these-free-cliparts-for-your-teeth-clip-art-1600_1376out the day. And they should brush their teeth well with fluoride toothpaste afterward.

What is a safe teeth day?

A safe day for your child’s teeth is when they have no fizzy drinks or sweets or high sugar treats and keep risky foods to just one meal time. Safe Teeth days will help control your child’s exposure to sugar and limit the damage it can do to their teeth.

It can be easiest to make school days safe days and save treats for the weekends.

 When you’re deciding about snacks, think about:

If you want to give them a snack in between meals, choose something without a lot of sugar. There are lots of tasty, filling snacks that are less harmful to teeth. Snack smart! Raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers or bread are smart choices. Eating the right foods can help protect children from tooth decay. 

Remember to: 

Choose sugary foods less often

Avoid sweets between meals

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals 


    Safe Snackslittle-girl-eating-vegetabl

    Vegetables make great snacks to enjoy all the time between meals!

    Fresh fruit in bite-sized portions makes it easy to snack and adds to your 5 a day.

    Water is the most tooth-friendly drink you can have, so drink lots of it!

    Milk has lots of calcium and is important for healthy bones and teeth

    Cheese has calcium and helps neutralise mouth acid and tooth decay.

    Bread Sticks and Rice or Oat Cakes are more tooth friendly than biscuits or crisps



Risky snacks


Sweets and chocolate cause tooth decay when eaten frequently so always eat sweets as part of a meal and never as a snack.

Dried fruit like raisins, apricots and cranberries have the same decaying effects on teeth as sweets and chocolate because the fruit sugar is concentrated and sticky.

Biscuits / Cakes contain lots of sugar so it’s best to enjoy these as part of a main meal.

Fruit juice and smoothies are high in sugar and acid. Always dilute fruit juices and smoothies for children and only give it during a main meal. Use a straw. Water and milk are the best things to drink in between meals

Fizzy drinks, even low sugar ones contain acids that can damage tooth enamel, making it softer and thinner.