While snacking in general should be minimized for healthy teeth and gums, there are a few rules you should know if you simply can’t avoid the munchies. For both children and adults, it is very important to choose smart snacks that support a healthy smile. Typically, snacking is not followed by brushing your teeth, so what you consume can linger on your teeth and gums for a long period of time. Here are some key elements to look for in a healthy dental snack:
- Low Sugar
- The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar. In fact, they need sucrose in order to multiple and create harmful acids. Choose snacks that are low in sugar. If sucrose or corn syrup is listed as the first or second ingredient, opt for another option instead.
- There are some snacks that may seem healthy but may actually be harmful to your teeth. An example is fruit gummies or raisins. Raisins are very sticky and that contain high amounts of sugar. This means that they can easily adhere to the pits and grooves of your teeth and leave them extra vulnerable to decay. Instead, choose snacks that can removed from your teeth by drinking water – especially if you are not going to be brushing or flossing for several hours.
- Low Acidity
- The pH level of the foods and drinks you consume can greatly influence the health of your teeth. This is especially concerning when it comes to what you drink. Citrus fruit drinks, sports drinks, lemonade and sodas can essentially be an acid bath for your teeth, destroying the enamel and exposing your smile to decay. Rely on good old-fashioned H20 to hydrate you through the day instead.
Now that we’ve told you what you shouldn’t choose as your go-to snacks, here is a list of healthy snacks for your smile:
- Raw Veggies and Fresh Fruit
- Dairy – Yogurt and Cheese
- Lean Meats
- Peanut Butter and Sunflower seeds
- Whole Grains (Unsweetened Cereals)
For more tips on how to snack for a healthier smile, please come see us at Mitzi Morris, DMD. We work hard to ensure your family understands the strong link between your eating habits and your oral health.