The Truth about Snacking and Tooth DecayMar 28 2014
Research about tooth decay has proven a strong link to the negative effects of snacking. However, what you’re snacking on is much more to blame than the frequency of your bites or meals. Sugary, sweet snacks are to blame! Although they’re often the most delicious choice for a snack, there are other healthier options that you can snack on to tie you over. Not only are healthier snacks better for your teeth but they are also healthier for you in general.
The bacteria in your mouth turns sugar into acid. Sugary snacks offer lots of potential for the creation of acid in your mouth and the acid that is created dissolves the enamel on your teeth and can start cavities. The repercussions are huge, especially over time, if you don’t manage your snacking habits and choose healthy alternatives, along with a consistent dental routine.
Another factor that plays a side role is the frequency at which you snack. It takes your mouth approximately 20 minutes to neutralize acid after your last bite so if you’re nibbling on something sweet all day your teeth are constantly under attack. It’s best to limit your consumption of sweet snacks to one meal, or sitting, and to brush with a fluoride toothpaste afterwards to neutralize the acid immediately. Sticky or chewy snacks are especially difficult to wash out of your mouth because they catch on your teeth, forcing a longer period of erosion on your teeth.
Most ‘healthy’ foods that make good snacks for weight or blood sugar reasons are usually good for your teeth too. There’s nothing difficult or confusing about choosing snacks that are healthy for your teeth, just follow the usual rules for a well-rounded diet and cut out the junk. Next time choose fresh fruits, raw vegetables, low-salt and low-fat grains, meat, nuts, or low-fat dairy products for a healthier snack instead.Request Appointment