Whether you’re the parent of an infant or young toddler and you’re feeding them mashed bananas as part of their diet, or you have an older child and you often pack bananas in their lunch as a snack, you may have wondered whether or not this fruit is good for your child’s teeth. Get the answers you need in this blog from Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry!
Bananas are, overall, a very healthy food. Like most fruits, they are jam-packed full of healthy nutrients, and are a perfectly good food to include in your child’s diet, and in your own. Bananas are full of vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B6, as well as fiber.
In addition, they provide a wide variety of minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. These minerals can help strengthen tooth enamel, so they’re very good for the teeth.
Compared to other types of fruit like oranges, which have a pH of about 3-4, bananas also have a better pH of about 4.5-5.2. This means they’re low in acid. Excessive acid buildup can contribute to tooth decay, so this is a good thing.
Overall, bananas are very healthy, and they provide a lot of essential nutrients both for overall health, and for the health of your child’s mouth. They should definitely be a part of your child’s diet.
You and your children may love the sweet taste of bananas, but that delicious flavor comes at a cost. Namely, a high sugar and starch content.
Even though they’re good for you, most fruits like bananas have high sugar content. Just like sugar from any other source, this sugar can contribute to tooth decay, as bacteria in your child’s mouth will consume it and excrete acid, which may cause cavities over time.
Bananas are also pretty gummy and starchy, which means they’re more likely to stick to your child’s teeth. This can also contribute to a higher risk of tooth decay.
However, these negative aspects of bananas can easily be controlled with proper dental hygiene. As long as you’re brushing your child’s teeth properly and feeding them a healthy diet with a reasonable amount of sugar, eating a banana or two per day won’t have any negative effects on their teeth.
You may have heard this rumor if you’ve ever looked into DIY teeth whitening methods, so let’s go ahead and clear it up. No, banana peels can’t whiten your teeth.
Proponents of banana peel whitening say that the high levels of potassium and magnesium are “absorbed into your teeth” if you rub a small piece of banana peel against your teeth for a few minutes per day.
However, there is absolutely no evidence that this works. Teeth whitening is achieved in one of two ways. Teeth whitening toothpastes use mild abrasives to scrape away stains, while chemical whiteners cause a chemical reaction that removes stains.
Banana peels do neither, and will not whiten your teeth. However, they are still a nutritious and delicious snack, both for you and your kids!
Bananas are a great snack. While they’re high in sugar, they’re packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are good for kids of every age. As long as you care for your child’s teeth properly, bananas are definitely good for their oral health.
Want to learn more? Need a pediatric dentist in Houston, Clear Lake, or Webster for preventive care? Get in touch with the team at Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry now. Dr. Jason Brock is always accepting new patients of all ages, and we’d love to meet your little one. Give us a call at (281) 461-7470 or contact us online to get started.