The Sticky Truth About Gummy Vitamins
If you want to improve the health of your child, stop buying gummy vitamins. Vitamins and nutrients are essential to the growth and development of children. Vitamins that are created with artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup and dipped in sugar crystals are not. Gummy vitamins can actually be detrimental to the growth and development of children, despite the packaging that labels them as healthy. They have raised more than a little attention from dentists all over the world.
From the moment they enter their mouths, gummy vitamins are reeking havoc on children’s bodies. For years now, these supposedly healthy and delicious sugar bombs are damaging kid’s teeth across the country. You wouldn’t give your kid a bag of skittles to improve their health, so you should not give them gummy vitamins either.
The gelatin material that is used to hold the gummy vitamins together is where the problem starts. It stick’s to teeth, and combined with the yummy sugary dusting on the outside, causes cavities and rotting. 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. Regular brushing and flossing is 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.
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 kid any favors by giving them a daily gummy vitamin.
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.
By looking at the label, it is clear that gummy vitamins are majority gummy, with very little vitamin. The miniscule 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.
If you feel your diet isn’t enough, 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 the best choice.
If you truly care about the health and nutrition of your child enough to give them a vitamin in the first place, care enough to stop giving them the gummy kind. Invest in a chewable multivitamin or do some research into what nutrients children need most and feed them real foods that contain those nutrients. It may not be as easy as offering a candy-like imposter, but it will improve their health and also teach them about nutrition and healthy living.
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 prevention and overall health of their patients. They have seen far too much damage done to patient’s teeth by gummy vitamins. It is amazing what can happen when parents take special interest in the health of their children and make adjustments to improve their oral health. Please trust your dentists and give your teeth the care they deserve. #nogummies