With modern day parenting, it’s hard to ensure that your children get a healthy, nutritious meal. Parents are super busy with work, chores, errands and caring for the kids, making it almost impossible to have a home cooked meal most nights of the week. As a result, parents sometimes rely on prepackaged foods or fast food, which is not always a healthy option. The kids don’t seem to mind, but you know they could be eating better.
As a parent you are left wondering, how do I give my children the nutrients they need when I am unable to cook a healthy and nutritious meal for them? Many parents have opted to give their children supplements such as vitamins. Since most children do not like swallowing tablets, the most common children’s vitamins are gummy vitamins. Unfortunately, they have a number of drawbacks. These vitamins may give your children the nutrients they are lacking from their diet but they are not the best option for good oral health.
High Sugar Content
Gummy vitamins are packed with more sugar than chewable vitamins or even the multivitamin you swallow. Compared to standard multivitamins, gummy vitamins have 7 times more sugar. It’s no secret that the sweetness and flavoring are meant to make them palatable. If your goal is to have your kids eat sugar-free or low sugar foods, then this definitely not the best option for you.
Today’s children tend to lead more sedentary lives than previous generations. With the dawn of the internet and video games, kids just aren’t getting outside and exercising like they used to. With childhood obesity on the rise, parents need to be more mindful than ever about the amount of sugar and calories their child’s diet contains. Sugary gummy vitamins are some of the worst offenders.
The Sticky Truth
Though gummy vitamins have a higher sugar content compared to other vitamins, it’s not as high as most of the gummy snacks children normally eat. This might tempt some parents to dismiss the sugar content in gummy vitamins and keep buying them out of sheer convenience. Before you do that, here’s something else you need to know.
Gummy vitamins have a sticky consistency which makes them stick in teeth longer than standard chewable vitamins. It can stick for a whole day and could possibly cause cavities. The sugar sits between the child’s teeth till the child brushes their teeth. Even then, it’s impossible to know if your child has sufficiently removed all of the sticky matter from their teeth. If this happens for weeks or even months, it can lead to cavities.
Healthier, Better Alternatives
Although vitamins are a good supplement for children and adults, gummy vitamins are not the best choice. If you need chewable vitamins, choose powdery instead of sticky ones. Once your children are comfortable with swallowing pills, switch to supplements they can easily swallow and save yourself from the constant worry about them getting cavities. Your children may not like the less sugary chewable vitamin tablets, but you need to remember that it is a much healthier choice. A small amount of drinking water is enough to remove the powder left in your child’s mouth after chewing the pill. To create a routine, give the children the chewable vitamin at the same time every day.
Proper Tooth Care
Choosing the right vitamin is the first step towards proper dental care. You should also find a good dentist, like Dr. Mott, and have your children get a check-up once in every 6 months. Ensure that your children floss and brush their teeth twice daily. They should brush their top teeth for a minute and the same should follow for the bottom.
If you absolutely can’t do away with gummies, then ensure that you give your children their vitamin just before they brush their teeth. Avoiding the negative side of these vitamins will go a long way in keeping your family’s smiles bright.
If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.