WE KNOW that frequent snacking on processed, sugary foods isn’t kind to the waistline. But what about its effects on your oral health? As we eat, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths feed on sugars. This produces acid. When acids aren’t cleared away, they can erode tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay.
Two Snacking Factors Can Increase Dental Decay Risk
Two major aspects of snacking affect cavity risk. They are:
- Consumption frequency, and
- The amount of time foods are in contact with teeth
The more frequently we eat, and the longer our teeth are exposed to the sugars in our food, the more vulnerable we are to tooth decay.
Consider The Texture Of Your Snack Foods
There are clues to snacking dangers that center around the texture of foods. Soft and/or sticky foods provide a more ideal environment for bacteria to adhere to teeth and thrive over time. So, given that clue which of the following snacks would you guess is better for your teeth… A hand full of animal crackers or a square of plain chocolate? You’re right—the chocolate.
Help Your Teeth AND Your Overall Health!
4 Snacking Tips
- Avoid added sugar and acidic beverages to maintain a neutral pH in your mouth.
- Brush twice a day (or after every meal) and floss every night before bed.
- Rinse your mouth with water after snacking.
- Snack on foods like almonds, cheese, fruits and vegetables with high water and high fiber content. Carrots and apples are great!
Oral Health Is Connected To Whole Body Health
It may seem silly to state the obvious… But always remember that what goes on inside our mouths is connected to what goes on throughout our bodies. In our modern world it’s really easy to get into the habit of snacking all the time. Make good choices to keep your healthy smile looking, and feeling, its best.