Constant snacking and cavities

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Dr. Amberlee Taylor, of North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry, generally recommends whole fruit as a healthy snack.

By Patricia Nugent

Courtesy of juice boxes, fast food and individual-sized packages of cookies, crackers and more, we are a snack-happy culture that hardly ever takes a breather.

That’s why educating parents about making the best choices is a mission of Dr. Amberlee Taylor, founder of North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry. 

Q: Does snacking or grazing harm teeth, and, if so, what can be done to prevent it?
As a busy mom of two, I understand the role that snacking plays in everyday life. And snacking is fine, as long as it’s the right kind of foods and not too often.

A good rule of thumb is three small snacks and three meals a day.

But snacking too often isn’t the best idea. Whenever you eat something, the mouth becomes more acidic, which dissolves the enamel. Your mouth remains acidic for a half-hour after you eat, which leaves you susceptible to cavities.

Processed food—such as fast food, pretzels or chips—might be convenient, but it ensures your kids are getting higher sugar amounts in their diet, which can lead to cavities. Classic snack go-tos like potato chips can get stuck in teeth, especially when kids are not brushing during the day, and the starch eventually turns to sugar.

Although apple juice seems like a healthy choice for kids, even the low-sugar varieties contain an abundance of sugar. We generally recommend whole fruit and water as a healthier alternative to juices.

If they do snack during the day and cannot brush their teeth afterward, we suggest kids drink water to rinse any sugar or food off their teeth.

North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry is located at 6391 Royalton Road in North Royalton. Call Dr. Amberlee at 440-210-9340 or visit for more information. She recommends you visit for a complete list of good and bad snack choices.