10 Scariest Foods & Drinks for Kids’ Teeth

Delta Dental offers information on the worst offenders.

Halloween is just around the corner and kids will be coming home, dumping their bags out on the table and diving face first into a heap of sugary treats. Making them brush their teeth after all of that sugar is never a bad idea, but keeping an eye on the things they eat and drink all year round and maintaining a healthy dental routine is key to keep their smile from resembling a Jack-O-Lantern.

Sports Drinks

A 20-ounce sports drink contains 34g (8 tsp.) of sugar. When your kid is playing hard, opt to keep them hydrated with a bottle of water instead.

Chocolate Milk

Parents wants their kid to drink more milk, but a 14-ounce container of chocolate milk contains 45g (11 tsp.) of sugar, which is more than a 12 ounce can of cola. Stick to plain white milk when you can.


A 12-ounce can of cola contains 39g (10 tsp.) of sugar, but it’s more than just the sugar content that makes cola bad. Because of its acidity, it also weakens tooth enamel, which means even diet cola is bad for teeth.

Juice Boxes/Pouches

It’s easy to think that juice is from fruit so it must be healthy, but in just one 6-ounce juice pouch, there is a whopping 20g (5 tsp.) of sugar, and in a 6.75-ounce container of apple juice, there’s 24g (6 tsp.) of sugar! It’s best to eat your fruit and drink water instead.

Energy Drinks

When in need of a pick-me-up, an energy drink might not be the best choice for your teeth. An 8.3-ounce can contains 27g (7 tsp) of sugar. Instead, focus on better nutrition and proper rest for kids and dial down sugar consumption.

Gummy Candies

Pay close attention to these delicious candies. It’s not just their sugary ingredients that make them a dental concern. Because they are gummy and sticky, they can stick to teeth and contribute to cavities.

Chewy Candies

Caramels and taffy are another type of candy that can cause trouble for teeth. Again, it’s more than just the sugar to look out for, but the consistency. If it sticks to your teeth, it can be harder to brush away. The longer a candy sticks to your teeth, the the longer bacteria can feed on it, which could produce cavity-causing acid.

Chewy Granola Bars

While nutritionally granola bars can be great, they too can be deceivingly dangerous for teeth. If they are chewy or sticky, bites can find their way into crevices on teeth.


Lollipops can seem pretty harmless, since they generally aren’t chewed and won’t stick to teeth. But having one in your mouth for awhile just lets that sugar swirl and linger around your teeth.

Hard Candies

While you aren’t usually chewing on these, they sit in your mouth, knocking into your teeth and coating them in sugar as it slowly melts away.

It’s okay to have these treats in moderation, but be mindful of when you or your child have them. Stick to a healthy dental routine of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss every day. Try to only eat one or two pieces of candy each day, and be sure to brush your teeth after, or rinse with water, and see your dentist regularly to help maintain a happy, healthy smile.

Get more information on our oral care mission and dental plans at deltadentalmi.com.

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