Snacking in between meals has been touted over the years as an efficient dietary method to fight hunger. Unfortunately, snacking in between meals can cause unforeseen oral health problems in the form of tooth decay and sensitivity. Learn about the best and worst snacks for your teeth, and how to fight tooth decay.
Every time you snack on a sugary meal, the bacteria in your mouth will work to raise the acidity of your mouth. That acid can attack the layer of enamel protecting your teeth causing tooth decay and increasing your risk of dental disease.
Today, it’s almost impossible to have a sugar-free diet. Sugar occurs naturally in many everything we eat, usually as fructose (in fruits and honey) and glucose (carbohydrates). The foods that contain those sugars are also our sources of vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that our body needs.
It’s the added sugar that can start to create an unexpected trip to the dentist, and sugar can appear where you don’t expect it.
A balanced, teeth-friendly diet doesn’t need to be rigid, or boring, and it definitely doesn’t need to mean less food and calorie counting.
Any diet rich in fresh produce (vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, and fish) and low in processed foods is a great start. Processed foods are generally foods that have already been cooked in some way can be very high in added sugar.
Follow these simple diet tips to keep your body looking great and your dentist happy:
Eat real food: A balanced diet is key. Cut back your sugar content generally means eating foods that happen naturally like vegetables, nuts, legumes, and well-sourced dairy and meats.
Plan ahead: Think about your weekly meals a few days in advance and cook a bit extra for a quick and easy meal later in the week.
Eat breakfast: It really is the most essential meal of the day. A big breakfast, high in protein, is going to fuel your body and keep your appetite at bay, meaning you will ‘graze’ less.
Hydrate with water: Instead of a can of fizzy drink, or flavored milk, stop and think what the sugar is doing to your teeth. Think about drinking water instead. Your body will thank you for it and you may find you feel less lethargic.