We all get hungry throughout the day and reach for a snack to hold us over until the next meal. However, do those snacks have an effect on our teeth? Here are popular snacks that could be hurting your teeth and what snacks could be a better alternative.
As children we begin to learn the connection between what we eat and our overall health. We know that certain snacks aren’t good for us, especially if we are trying to stay fit and fuel our bodies with nutrient-dense foods. However, many people don’t realize how snacking can also affect their oral health.
The Washington Dental Service Foundation explains that eating starchy foods and drinking sugary or acidic beverages throughout the day can prompt acid to attack your tooth enamel. Once the tooth enamel begins to erode, your tooth is left vulnerable to a number of problems that can be painful, expensive, and negatively affect your oral — and overall — health.
Watching what you snack on each day can help prevent tooth decay and improve your health. Further, preventing these dental health issues can save patients more than $2,000 over a lifetime. For some healthy snacking tips, they recommend:
It’s hard to stray away from the snacks you know in love. At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we like to recommend everything in moderation. To better protect your smile, Colgate suggests trying to incorporate these best foods:
Choosing to snack on dairy products like cheese or yogurt can help your body produce more saliva which protects your teeth. Further, cheese and yogurt are high in calcium and protein which strengthen your teeth. In addition, yogurt also contains probiotics, which is good bacteria that benefits your digestive system. When choosing the snacks, be sure to keep an eye on the ingredients to watch out for high sugar content. If you can, buy plain yogurt and lightly sweeten it yourself with honey.
Veggies are essential for everyone’s diet because of all of the health benefits they provide. Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that can help you produce saliva, keeping your mouth clean and your enamel healthy. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens are full of vitamins and low in calories. They are high in calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins, which is good for your all-around health. Try eating a big salad (with limited dressing) or adding some leafy greens to your next smoothie.
Eating an apple is a good way to curb your sweet cravings while hydrating and adding fiber to your diet. When you replace a sugary treat with an apple, you’re promoting good saliva production.
Celery can help clean your teeth because their texture can scrape leftover food particles and bacteria off of the teeth. Additionally, both celery and carrots are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Add both of these vegetables raw to a salad or just enjoy solo as a snack.
Adding lean protein to your diet like meat, fish, poultry, and tofu is a great source of phosphorus and protein to keep your teeth healthy. Almonds are also high in protein and are a good source of calcium — both of which are great for your teeth.
No matter what you choose to snack on, you should try to limit the amount of times you snack between meals. Keep an eye out on the snacks you do choose to consume for high sugar content, which can be harmful to your smile over time. If you eat sweet foods or drink sweet beverages frequently, you expose your teeth to the harmful effects of sugar — all while decreasing saliva’s ability to neutralize tooth-damaging acids.
In addition to paying attention to what you’re snacking on, making an appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry can help prevent dental health issues from developing or progressing into something more serious. Contact us today to make an appointment: (303)-731-7755.
When you visit our Broomfield dental office, your smile is our top priority. Our Dentists invite you to experience the difference a warm and caring team can provide for you and your family. Enjoy a unique and comfortable dental experience designed to bring a healthier and happier smile back into your life. We invite you to call or visit our Broomfield dental office and discover the exceptional difference we offer to those we serve.