7 worst foods for children’s teeth and overall oral health


While some foods can help your dental health, others can spell trouble for oral health, especially in the case of children. Due to factors such as diet and the fact that they are still learning how to properly brush and floss their teeth, young children are more likely to acquire dental problems. The good news is that if you keep them away from some of the worst foods for children’s teeth, many oral health problems can be avoided and managed.

Poor dental hygiene and diet, which put adults at risk for gum disease, are an issue for kids as well.

How can diet affect children’s oral health

Children may find it quite challenging to resist eating their favourite foods. However, eating unhealthy foods and having a sweet appetite can lead to tooth damage and other problems.

worst foods to children's teeth
Healthy eating habits start from childhood. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Krishna Prasad, J.R., Consultant – Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Electronic City, Bengaluru, also told Health Shots that making your children maintain dental hygiene can be a bit tricky sometimes. What you eat has a significant impact on your dental health, and when it comes to your children, making them avoid certain food items can do wonders.

Here are food items that should be avoided for oral health, according to Dr Prasad:

1. Hard candies

Peppermints, sucker candies, and even cough drops can cause harm to your teeth. These candies are high in sugar and can get stuck in the tooth cavity.

2. Sweet that sticks

Many children like to have toffees, candies, or sweets that stick in their mouth. These products have a high sugar content and can also stick in the cavities of teeth.

Also, read: For a radiant smile, stop making these 5 oral health mistakes

3. Pickles

Pickles can be yummy when paired with your favourite food, but these sour delights are not good for your teeth. Pickles are made with vinegar and can erode the lining of your teeth. But if you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after having pickles, you can still enjoy having them.

worst foods to children's teeth
Pickle is yum but isn’t good for oral health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks are a favourite beverage for many children, but these drinks are not doing any good for your teeth. It contains acid that erodes the enamel layer, and many soft drinks or sodas also contain a lot of sugar.

5. Processed dried fruits

Dry fruits are healthy for your body, but many manufacturers add a good amount of sugar to dry fruits to make them extra sweet. Dry fruits such as raisins are chewy and can easily get stuck in your mouth.

6. Tomato sauce or soya sauce

Tomato sauce and soy sauce are used in so many tasty food items, but unfortunately, they can be harsh on the enamel layer. Your teeth may turn yellow or brown if you don’t limit the consumption of it.

7. Canned fruits

You cannot compare canned fruits with fresh fruits. Canned fruits are often bathed in sugary syrup, and we all know that sugar is our teeth’s worst enemy.

worst foods to children's teeth
Consume fresh fruits only. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, don’t include these food items in your child’s daily diet. Consume these 7 foods in their place to improve your child’s oral health.

  • Nuts
  • Apples
  • Carrot
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Melons, pears and strawberries



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