Most people tend to indulge in a snack in between mealtimes. While a small bite to eat can boost your energy when you feel low before your next meal, snacking could also be harmful to your oral health.
Frequent snacking could lead to irreversible damage to your dental structure if you are not careful with your eating habits. Limiting your snacking can protect your smile, but you do not need to abandon the habit entirely to preserve your oral health. Check out these tips from your dentist that can ensure your smile stays healthy after a snack.
Choose Teeth-Safe Foods
In order to avoid dental problems when you snack, you should make conscientious choices when it comes to which foods you consume. Keep your pantry stocked with food items that will not cause dental damage like so many popular snacks can do.
You likely already know that sugar can seriously hurt your teeth. It becomes acidic when it interacts with your saliva, and the resulting acid may erode your teeth. Weakened teeth can then have a high risk of developing cavities and other dental issues.
Steer clear of sugary or acidic foods to avoid this threat to your oral health. If you crave something sweet, try berries, yogurt, or other foods that do not contain added sugar. Dairy products contain calcium that can actually strengthen your smile as you consume them. Ask your dentist about other snack options that can boost your oral health.
Stick to Quick Snacks
Pay attention to your eating habits, especially considering the length of time you spend snacking. One reason that dentists caution against frequent snacking is that people tend to eat these foods mindlessly, and they can lose track of time and spend a greater stretch of time eating than necessary.
This could disrupt your diet, but it can hurt your oral health as well. Spending a longer time eating means that your teeth are exposed to food particles for a longer period. The food on your teeth will eat away at your dental structure, making the enamel weaker and therefore, more vulnerable to dental concerns.
So take note of how long you snack. Choose snacks that will take quicker to finish as well. For example, sucking on hard candy or a lollipop will expose your teeth for a longer period than a bite of a pastry.
Rinse Your Mouth After Snacking
You can help protect your teeth after a snack by rinsing away lingering food particles that might be left in your mouth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth for a thorough scrubbing away of these residues. But you do not always have access to your oral hygiene supplies.
You can also wash away food particles by drinking water. Water will rinse your mouth in a pinch. And it has the added benefit of getting rid of residues that might otherwise give you bad breath. Learn more about preventative dental care, including how your diet influences your smile, by contacting your dentist today.