Everyone likes to snack every now and then, but snaking can expose your teeth to harmful substances and derail your oral health. Smart snacking involves selecting the right combination of foods that can improve your dental health.
Why can snacking cause tooth decay?
The bacteria that is the leading cause of tooth decay feed on the carbohydrate-rich food sources that we consume such as rice, juice, and chips among others. When the bacteria feed on carbohydrates, they leave behind acids as a by-product. These acids then cause cavities in the long run. The saliva present in our mouths helps to mitigate the adverse effects of the acid. However, when we snack throughout the day, the prolonged production of the acid overpowers the saliva's neutralizing capabilities thus negatively affecting your oral health.
What is smart snacking?
Smart snacking is all about limiting snacking especially in between meals and selecting foods that are superior for our dental health. For example, it is more beneficial to consume whole snacks at a given time, as opposed to little servings scattered throughout the day.
It is also beneficial to your dental health that you reduce snacking on carbohydrates and foods that are processed such as crackers and yogurt tubes. These processed foods have a high content of simple carbohydrates which are rapidly broken down to form glucose by naturally occurring enzymes in your saliva. This glucose then acts as food for bacteria resulting in cavities. You should also cut back on foods that are chewy and tend to stick to the teeth. These types of foods easily become lodged in between your teeth and can linger there for a long period, drastically increasing the likelihood of cavities.
Whole foods are the best snacking option for keeping teeth healthy. Snacks that have a higher concentration of protein compared to carbohydrates such as nuts are also great choices and they will help strengthen teeth.
Dental Blog | Sunnyside Dentistry | Clackamas, OR dentist Dick Hikade, DDS at Sunnyside Dentistry has created this informative blog to help educate the community about dental concerns. Sunnyside Dentistry, 14210 SE Sunnyside Rd, Suite 200, Clackamas, OR 97015 / (503) 451-5104 / sunnysidedentistry.com / 3/20/2023 / Tags: dentist Clackamas OR /