Snacking and Your Oral Health

snacksFor me, isolation comes hand in hand with snacking! ( often while binge watching my favorite shows !!!)

It is best to choose healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits/ veggies, cheese, popcorn and yogurt.  Occasionally, we choose sweet snacks and drinks that may affect our dental health.

It is not the amount of snacks that may cause damage to our teeth but rather the frequency of snacking.  After eating, the saliva becomes more acidic.  With frequent snacking, the teeth are constantly bathing in acidic saliva which causes the breakdown of tooth structure.

To reduce the risk of damage to our teeth from snacking,  here are a few reminders:

  • Don’t brush right after eating. Remember, that the saliva is very acidic. Wait an hour for the saliva to neutralize before brushing. Chewing sugarless gum, xylitol gum or eating cheese can help neutralize the saliva more quickly.
  • Minimize acidic drinks such as pop ( regular and diet), juice, lemon water, lemonade and
  • Read the label on your snack. If sugar is the first ingredient on the list then the food has a lot of sugar. Also look for other sugars such as corn syrup, corn sweeteners, dextrose, fructose, glucose, honey, molasses, sucrose.
  • Minimize sweet sticky snacks which will stick to your teeth longer. Snacks such as gummy bears, fruit roll up, dried fruits (dried mango for me), caramels and toffee tend to stick to teeth longer.  It is better to eat a chocolate bar because chocolate melts quicker, not staying on the teeth.
  • Continue with your daily oral hygiene routine. Proper brushing and flossing will ensure that the cavity producing bacteria are removed from the teeth surfaces.

So happy isolation and snack smart….

I hope to see everyone soon;  healthy and safe ! ( so you can tell me what you were binge watching!)

Christine – Registered Dental Hygienist at Maple Mews Dental

Snacking and Your Oral Health

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