It can be a challenge to make sure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Especially if you might not love veggies or tend to eat more fast food than you want to admit. When you’re trying to boost your immune system, vitamins and supplements can help you top off your diet and ward off deficiencies.
If you’re one of those people whose stomach is bothered by traditional vitamins, you might feel inclined to go with a chewable version. Gummy vitamins are a classic example, and usually fairly yummy to boot!
Gummy vitamins are a far more palatable version of other popular vitamins and supplements you find at the drug store. They come in a variety of shapes and flavors, depending on the type of vitamin you’re taking. Some are sweet, others are more tart. Since they taste good, they’re more attractive to take on a daily basis. You might even find that getting your kids to eat gummy vitamins is easier than other chewable options, especially if they don’t know how to swallow a pill.
Sure, gummy vitamins aren’t perfect. But they do have some advantages that make them an obvious choice for a lot of people.
Look, if you can’t swallow pills—and there’s nothing wrong with that—other vitamins may be completely out of the question. Gummies may be your only option. Especially if you have large tonsils, a sensitive gag reflex, or difficulty swallowing in general. All you have to do is chew them up like the rest of your food and then swallow the soft texture. There’s not much to it.
Yes, gummies almost taste like candy. Their appetizing flavor makes them attractive for adults and kids alike. If you hate the after-taste of other types of vitamins, gummy vitamin options don’t tend to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Gummies have to taste good because they’re chewable. Many of them will use natural flavorings to complement the sweet taste to give you all the more reason to take one every day.
Does your pediatrician want your child to take a vitamin each day? If your child is a picky eater or having a hard time getting the right nutrients they need, a daily multivitamin is essential. While there are plenty of chewable options on the market, some flavors or textures can be off-putting to kids. Gummy vitamins almost seem identical to the fruit chews or other candies your kids might like. As such, it’s usually easier to get them to take a gummy vitamin than it is another version of over-the-counter supplements.
In order to make them look more appetizing, a lot of (almost all) gummy vitamins do have artificial food colorings and dyes. This can be a major deal-breaker for people with dye sensitivity.
Anything that’s sticky will stay stuck on your teeth for longer amounts of time. In other words, it’s going to weaken your enamel worse than something that’s not sticky. Especially when you eat it on a daily basis. All the grooves and pits on your molars (back teeth) will tend to accumulate sticky buildup and are hard to clean with a toothbrush.
Experts typically believe that gummy vitamins just aren’t as consistent with dosage or effectiveness compared to traditional vitamins. But at least they’re better than nothing? Maybe, maybe not. You’ll probably get a more fixed, predictable dose by swallowing a solid vitamin whole with a glass of water than you do eating gummy vitamins.
The shelf life of gummy vitamins is not as stable as other types of pills and capsules. This can cause gummies and similar substances to become weaker (less potent) in less time. So, if you’re not taking them right away or only every now and then, they become less and less effective the closer they get to their expiration date.
Let’s say you find a totally organic, dye-free, sugar-free, natural gummy vitamin to take every day. Does that mean it’s ok on your mouth?
Even if there are not the same types of sugar as plain ‘ol white sugar, the other sweeteners inside of gummy vitamins can breed bacteria. Sweeteners feed dental plaque, which then produces more dental plaque. Especially if they’re stuck in deep grooves on your back teeth. It’s like a classic recipe for cavities, all while you’re trying to just do your best to stay healthy. The trade-off may not be worth the risk.
Any time you eat gummy vitamins, you are also raising your risk of tooth stain. Similar to dark liquids or other dark-colored foods. For people in braces, the stains can accumulate around cement, clear bands, and under the wires.
Plus, the sticky texture of gummy vitamins is more likely to get caught around orthodontic appliances (instead of swallowed) which can further jeopardize your oral health, given the contact time the sugars and acids have on your teeth. Chances are that you won’t even ingest as much of the vitamin as you’re hoping to, because so much of it is stuck around your braces.
Make sure that your child knows vitamins are only “one a day” or that they will get a very bad tummy ache, to put it mildly.
Choosing to take a gummy vitamin may seem like an easy and convenient decision to make. But it’s best to truly weigh the pros and cons of gummies before choosing either way.
If you absolutely hate swallowing pills and the only type of vitamin you’re open to taking is a gummy one, then the supplement can help if you’re already deficient in some vitamins or minerals. But the sticky texture and cavity risk aren’t worth it if you’re already prone to a high risk of tooth decay.
Not everyone needs to take vitamins and supplements. Especially if you’re already eating a lot of fresh vegetables and have a healthy protein intake. If you’re simply taking a gummy vitamin for the heck of it, the tradeoff might be a bigger risk to your mouth than it is a benefit to your body. When in doubt, ask your medical provider if you need to be taking supplements at all.
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