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The Truth About Snacking and Dental Health

Snacking is a common between-meal practice to give you energy in the afternoon. You probably eat some form of a snack nearly every single day and never think twice about it. Could this common, daily habit be hurting your teeth and gums? Read on to find out.

Snacking and Dental Health: Are You Ruining Your Teeth?

Snacking is often a good way to keep your hunger pangs at bay between meals. It also provides your mind and body with necessary energy to carry out all your daily tasks. However, it could also be harming your dental health. Consider the following information on snacking and your dental health:

Affects acidity levels in your mouth

The acidity levels in your mouth play a vital role in your teeth and gum health. Each time you eat or drink, bacteria in your mouth break it down producing acids as a byproduct. Increased acids in your mouth cause demineralization or the wearing away of the enamel on your teeth. This process will eventually lead to the development of cavities.

Increases risk of decay and cavities

Starchy foods such as pretzels, chips, and crackers are likely to leave sticky bits of food between your teeth. Because you likely snack often and do not normally brush and floss your teeth after every snack, this may put you at a higher risk of decay and cavities. These bits of food remain between your teeth for prolonged periods of time.

It matters what you snack on

The content of your snacks makes a big difference for your dental health. Snacks to avoid are foods and drinks high in acids such as fruit juice, soda, and citrus fruits and carbohydrates such as candy and baked goods. Choosing more nutritious snacks such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and cheese is better for your dental and overall health.

Sugar and your dental health

The worst culprit for your dental health is snacks high in sugar. Sugar promotes cavities and decay, unlike any other substance. Limit added sugars in your daily diet. Get it into the habit of reading the food labels and avoid foods that list sugar in the first few ingredients.

Preventing cavities

Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Avoid brushing your teeth just after eating an acidic snack because your tooth enamel is already in a compromised state and it could cause erosion. Select a toothpaste with cavity protection and make sure to floss at least once a day. Brushing alone won’t reach between your teeth and your gumline. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Learn More

Now that you know about snacking and dental health, be smart about the way you snack. Choose healthy, low sugar and low acid foods and drinks. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes and floss once a day. Most of all, visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about maintaining optimum dental health, Contact Us.