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Gummy Vitamins: Yes or No?

Aug 6, 2017

Gummy Vitamins

Increasingly, I find that more and more kids are eating gummy vitamins. After all, they taste delicious and are an easy way to make sure kids are getting their necessary supplements. However, a recent article in Parents magazine highlights the downsides of these vitamins.  Pediatrician, Natalie Muth, MD, RDN, warns of the 3 major pitfalls to gummy vitamins:

  1. Sugar Content: A serving of gummy vitamins typically contains nearly a teaspoon of sugar. That’s a lot when you consider the fact that the recommended limit is only six teaspoons a day.
  2. Mirrors Candy: Gummy vitamins look and taste like candy. Some are even coated in sugar, making them seem more like Sour Patch Kids than a supplement. So kids may be tempted to take more than they need—which can be harmful, especially if the vitamin contains iron, which the body only needs in small amounts.
  3. Increases Cavities: Gummy vitamins can wedge into the grooves of your teeth, which is the same as having sugar stuck on your tooth for long periods of time. The longer or more frequent that sugar is clinging to your tooth, the higher the risk for development of cavities. This concept is also true for fruit snacks, dried fruit, and raisins… see our previous blog post here for more thoughts on sticky snacks.

Overall, Dr. Muth advises to stay away from gummy vitamins. She recommends consulting with your pediatrician to see if your child even needs a vitamin (most children do not!). And if your child does need a vitamin, then try to stick with the chewable kind instead of the gummies. From a teeth perspective, if your child does require a vitamin, then encourage your kiddo to wash everything down with water after to try to get any residual vitamin off the teeth.

© 2014 Dr. Jennifer Fountain, DDS.
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