Did you know that eating snacks throughout the day is actually not good for your teeth? This is because the health of your teeth and gums partially depends on the level of acidity (also known as pH) in your mouth. Ideally your mouth will have a neutral pH. Every time you snack, harmful acids and bacteria are left behind, which can cause your mouth to return to a neutral pH more slowly. If your teeth are exposed to enough acids, you can develop cavities. Why is snacking worse than eating main meals? Typically, it’s because you don’t drink a beverage like you would with a meal, nor brush after every snack, so snacks tend to stick around in your mouth longer than your meal does.
Also important to remember is that different types of snacks can be more detrimental to your teeth than others. For example, starchy foods such as breads and chips will stick to your teeth and are harder to wash away, so these are not good snack choices. Neither are snacks that are sugary, sweet, sticky, chewy or tangy. If you find that you can’t give up your afternoon snack, try snacking smarter with the following healthier options:
Yogurt is actually beneficial to both your teeth and gums thanks to the probiotics and good bacteria it contains. Watch out for yogurt that is laden with sugar! Be sure to choose a plain yogurt, or carefully examine the label for sugar content before choosing a flavored yogurt.
Almonds provide both protein and calcium, which are great for your teeth and help strengthen tooth enamel. They’re a good choice to add to your favorite dishes or just enjoy by the handful.
Apples and Carrots
While most fruits and veggies are a good snack choice, apples and carrots benefit your teeth a bit more because of the fiber and water they contain. Fibrous texture stimulates your gums while chewing and increases saliva flow, which helps to “rinse” your mouth. Chewing apples or carrots actually works to give your teeth a bit of a scrub; however, this snack should never replace brushing.
The Bottom Line
If you’re going to partake in a snack, stay away from sugary or starchy foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or cheese. Drinking water along with your snack will also help free your mouth from excess food particles and debris. Always choose water above soft drinks, energy drinks, or coffees with sugar.
Give Wynkoop Dentistry a Call
Want to learn more about how to take care of your oral health? Give your team at Wynkoop Dentistry a call today. We’ll gladly answer your questions or schedule your next appointment for you!
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