Baseball is a popular sport for young children and a fun way for parents to engage with their children. Unfortunately, snack day traditions may lead to severe tooth decay and decreased oral health. It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure a positive trip to a child's dentist.

Snacks Are A Tradition

After just about every child's baseball game, a snack will be shared by one of the children on the team. This tradition helps give the children something fun to look forward to after the game and gets parents more engaged with the team. Typically, parents try to bring something that the children will enjoy, such as potato chips and candy, as a reward for playing well.

What many parents may not realize is that snack day can be a negative influence on a child's oral health. Poorly chosen snacks can cause an inordinate amount of plaque in a child's mouth that can lead to tooth decay at a young age and ruin their oral health for the future.

Game Snacks Can Damage Teeth

So just what kind of snacks can be seriously damaging to a child's oral health? Anything with a lot of sugar, such as chocolate, candy, cupcakes, and even dried fruit. The latter snack is a particularly common game snack because parents and coaches mistakenly thing it is healthy. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.

Even worse, children may spend time sipping on soda and sports drinks during the game. These drinks are typically packed with sugar and can contribute to dental decay. That's why it is important to replace these unhealthy snacks with those that promote stronger oral health in children.

Healthy Snacks Can Promote Better Oral Health

To avoid negatively impacting the oral health of an entire baseball team, parents need to start packing healthy snacks. Many tasty snacks promote improved oral health and can even improve a child's overall health. For example, cheese is a tasty snack that also contains high levels of calcium and protein. These nutrients help improve bone strength and fight plaque.

Yogurt is another good choice because it is tasty and has healthy bacteria that kill plaque and prevent tooth decay. Other healthy snacks, such as leafy greens, apples, carrots, and celery, will be harder to integrate into a snack day. However, almonds are a healthy nut that just about any child will love eating. Try to pair cheese and almonds with healthy yogurt to improve their oral health. Drinks should consist of water, flavored water, or unsweetened tea.

By practicing these good snack guidelines, parents can keep their children from having a bad visit to the dentist. Make sure to schedule six-month checkups, such as at Neu Family Dental Center, to ensure that their teeth remain in good shape for years to come.