Keeping your child's teeth clean is extremely important. However, making good choices when it comes to deciding which foods to eat is just as important as brushing. Two important things to keep in mind when making food choices are frequency and consistency.
Cavities are caused by bacteria that use carbohydrates to make acid. The acid then makes a break in the enamel, otherwise known as a cavity. Carbohydrates are found in not only high-sugar foods, but crackers and other common "kid snacks". If you feed the bacteria carbohydrates throughout the day, the bacteria are busy making acid all day long. If you feed them only during mealtimes and up to 2 snacks per day, the bacteria are resting between meals and snacks, allowing your mouth to recover from the "acid attacks". We find that children who graze throughout the day are more likely to have cavities. Feeding the bacteria less frequently is the healthiest choice.
Many children's snacks such as raisins and fruit snacks are marketed as a healthier choice. However, these sticky foods adhere to the teeth and are difficult to remove, even with brushing. This gives the bacteria on the teeth a constant food source for a long period of time. Choosing non-sticky snacks is best for the teeth. This is also good to keep in mind when choosing treats and candy. Candy such as chocolate that melts away is healthier for the teeth than sticky candies.