Encouraging healthy eating in children is not an easy task. Trying to make sure your children are getting the nutrition that they need to grow into healthy, strong adults can be challenging. Gummy vitamins seem like the perfect quick fix to trying to get children to take a regular multivitamin. The reality is, you are not doing your child any favors by giving them a daily gummy vitamin.
Gummy vitamins actually do more harm than good. This is because the gelatin material that is used to hold the gummy vitamins together sticks to teeth. Combined with the yummy sugary dusting on the outside, gummy vitamins cause cavities and rotting within a short period of time. Although many producers have lowered the sugar content in their gummy vitamins, the gummy material allows the sugar to stick to teeth all day long, so even the smaller dose of sugar can still cause major damage.
Gummy Vitamins Affect Over Time
Regular brushing and flossing are not enough to fully remove the gummy material that sticks to the teeth, so, within just a few months of taking gummy vitamins, teeth can be destroyed by the continuous residue.
“I will see children who have been cavity-free, and then they start eating these gummy vitamins, and boom, they have cavities within three months to a year,” says Mary Hayes, American Dental Association spokeswoman and children’s dentist.
So if gummy vitamins are not the answer to children’s health, what is? The first alternative to gummy vitamins is, of course, to not take a vitamin at all and receive your nutrients from whole foods. It is a very common belief that multivitamins are the answer to having healthy, growing bodies. The truth is that by eating a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, and whole grains, you are naturally providing the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
“I am a believer in getting your vitamins from real food sources whenever possible,” said Wendy Slusser, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, when asked about gummy vitamins.
What Is In A Gummy Vitamin?
By looking at the label, it is clear that gummy vitamins are majority gummy, with very little vitamin. The minuscule amount of nutrients that gummy vitamins do contain, offer extremely small traces of vitamins A, B, C, and D, and calcium. All of those nutrients are easily found in real foods such as strawberries, carrots, eggs, and yogurt. In addition to the small list of benefits that the vitamins offer, these whole foods also offer protein, fiber, and healthy fats that are essential to the human body.
Gummy Vitamin Alternatives
If you feel your child’s diet doesn’t contain enough vitamins and nutrients, then there’s the second alternative: chewable vitamins (not gummy). Although chewable multivitamins do not taste as good as their gummy nemesis, they are a far better option. Choose a powdery chewable vitamin to give your children that can dissolve easily and be washed away quickly with a sip of water. The more chalky option is not always favorable in terms of taste, but if you are wanting to give your children more daily nutrients and not cause them cavities, chewable multivitamins are an alternative choice. But the best choice is real food.
At Sunshine Smiles, we strive to not only treat the current health of teeth but to prevent any harm that could possibly come to teeth. Prevention is key and our dentists are trained to be able to diagnose the cause of a cavity. What sets Dr. Kristin and Dr. Alvarez apart from other pediatric dentists is their true passion for the prevention and overall health of their patients. They have seen far too much damage done to the patient’s teeth by gummy vitamins. It is amazing what can happen when parents take a special interest in the oral health of their children and make adjustments to improve it. Please trust your dentists and give your teeth the care they deserve!