Should You Say Good-Bye to Gummy Vitamins?

Children's oral health in LafayetteA fun way for your child to get the recommended daily allowance of key vitamins and minerals, AND it tastes like candy? If it sounds too good to be true, there’s probably a good reason. Parents and children across the country have fallen for the seemingly harmless, kid-approved gummy multivitamin. The growing popularity of gummy vitamins has raised eyebrows in the dental community, says Dr. Michael Young. Young, a general and family dentist in Lafayette LA, cautions parents to think twice before starting their child on gummies.

Could a Bite-Size Gummy Really Inflict That Much Damage?

Possibly. We frequently advise parents that some types of candy, such as hard candy, caramel, and gummy bears, cause more harm than others. Even the cleanest mouth harbors millions of bacteria that love sugar and use it to create plaque. Sticky candy hides between teeth, under the tongue, between the gums and cheeks, and in every nook and cranny imaginable. When your child consumes candy during the day, saliva helps to wash away some of the sugar and bacteria. If your child takes a gummy vitamin immediately before bedtime after brushing and flossing, the risk of tooth decay increases. Dr. Young attributes this to the fact that salivary glands are less productive during sleep.

Are Chalky, Chewable Vitamins Equally Damaging?

At this time, studies have not been conducted to determine whether gummies cause any more destruction than other forms of chewable vitamins. Nonetheless, a high sugar content and gooey texture makes any food or supplement more likely to develop cavities. Dr. Young adds that a diligent regimen of brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups can protect your child’s teeth. If you offer gummy vitamins, you must be vigilant in teaching your child the importance of and proper way to care for teeth and gums. Encourage your child to brush his or her teeth immediately after taking either a gummy or chewable vitamin, and offer them only at bedtime instead of in the morning. Does a once-daily gummy multivitamin mean certain doom for your child’s teeth? No, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Questions about the effects of nutrition on your child’s teeth? To request more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young, contact our Lafayette dentist office at 337-237-6453. We serve families living in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. Dr. Young also invites you to find us on Facebook, where you’ll find news, tips, and valuable resources.