Do you reach for a snack around the same time every day? You’re not alone – most people do as a way to refuel their bodies and keep them going until their next meal. While this habit may seem harmless, it could be harming your teeth more than you think. In fact, some people believe that frequent snacking does as much damage to your teeth as eating candy or drinking soda! Read along to learn how it affects your oral health and tips to prevent the habit.
How Snacking Affects Your Oral Health
Most people know that unhealthy dietary choices can impact your dental health, leading to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. That’s because frequent consumption of sugary, acidic, fatty, and processed foods can damage teeth. However, it’s not only what you eat that can harm your smile, but also how often you eat
Studies show that snacking or “grazing” all day can also lead to tooth decay. Any time you snack on sugary or starchy food, plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) forms on the teeth. When you fail to remove it by brushing and flossing, it builds up. The bacteria in your mouth then produce a harmful acid that attacks the enamel, compromising it and making it more susceptible to dental problems. This process occurs every time you eat, meaning snacking causes repeated acid attacks on your teeth. Eventually, this can lead to cavities that develop from tooth decay – and they will require professional treatment.
A Healthy Diet Can Benefit Your Smile
Do you have a habit of snacking? One way to keep your mouth healthy is by making better food and drink choices. A healthy diet is crucial to keep your mouth and body in their best shape. So whenever possible, opt for nutritious foods or snacks that are low in added sugar (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, lean meats). Not only will it prevent you from getting sick or being overweight, but it can also help you avoid dental health issues like cavities and decay. Plus, eating fresh fruits with natural sugars can satisfy your sweet tooth without putting your smile at risk!
Tips to Limit Snacking
Here are some steps you can take to prevent the need for snacking:
- Meal prep to determine which days you’ll need to cook a little extra to keep you full throughout the day
- Start your morning with a breakfast high in protein
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Limit your intake of sugary, starchy, acidic, and processed foods
- Eat a well-balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy
- See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams
Ultimately, snacking can be bad for your teeth. Luckily, you can keep your smile happy and healthy by following the tips outlined above!
About the Practice
At Crossroads Family Dentistry, we strive to make every dental visit as comfortable, relaxing, and stress-free as possible. Our team is proud to provide high-quality, friendly, affordable dental care that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling every time. We enjoy educating our patients to help them make confident and informed decisions about their oral health. To learn more on how snacking affects your teeth, visit our website or call (434) 841-1704.