Snacking is a great pastime. Whether you are hungry, bored, or sad, nothing brightens up a day better than a quick trip to the fridge. Munching on cake, cookies, french fries, donuts, and the like can surely make someone feel good.
But do you know that your countless trips to the fridge is making your teeth feel worse?
Why is Snacking Harmful?
Snacking usually involves eating sugary or starchy food like donuts and biscuits. Your mouth carries bacteria, some forming into plaque that sticks in between your teeth. When you eat sweets, it reacts with the bacteria in the mouth and produces acids that are really harmful for your teeth. This happens when the acids attacks the enamel that protects the teeth. The end result is tooth decay, which is a common problem for a lot of people today. Remember that the stickier the snack, the more likely it can cause tooth decay.
Sugary treats are not the only culprit. While the general rule is to lessen eating sweet snacks, tooth decay can come from a variety of other sources – some less apparent than others. Pizza, biscuits, and bread are all starchy products. All are also threats to tooth decay. Starch, when broken down in the mouth, become sugars that react with bacteria in the mouth. The same process that leads to tooth decay happens.
How Can Binge Snacking Be Harmful?
Those small but frequent trips to the fridge is also doing harm to your teeth. See, after snacking people usually go about their daily business without bothering to rinse or brush their mouth. The snacks left sticking between the teeth stay there without being washed away by oral care products, water, or even saliva. The longer food sticks in between teeth, the more time it gets to react with bacteria. Now a whole army of acid is attacking the enamel in your teeth without you even noticing it?
What Can I Do To Prevent This From Happening?
Pristine white teeth is an asset, but one that requires constant maintenance. Fret not, as it is very simple to protect your teeth from acids.
The first thing you can do is to lessen eating sweets as much as possible. Remember that if it is sweet, it probably isn’t good for your teeth. Other sweets cause more damage than others, so another rule to remember is that the stickier the snack, the easier it attacks. Some snacks stick harder than others and are more difficult to wash away. A gummy bear can potentially damage teeth more than donuts.
As starch is also a culprit, it is best to limit your intake of bread products. If you absolutely must, try low-fat and non-sweetened ones like plain bagels instead of cupcakes and croissants.
Also remember that it is better to eat sugary or starchy treats during meals. This is because saliva production is ramped up during this time which in turn helps you wash away the remaining food in your mouth while also neutralizing acid production. So cut those frequent trips to the fridge, it is not worth it to lose your pearly whites for 3 minutes of chocolate heaven.
Should I Stay Away From Sweets Forever?
Heavens, no! A lot of sugary or starchy treats contain essential vitamins and minerals that are incredibly important for the body. The best thing to do is limit your intake of these types of food. If you are still craving for sweets, try eating naturally sweetened food. Fruits like bananas, pineapples, melons, and oranges are natural sources of sugar and taste great too. Vegetables are also great alternatives. Tomatoes and cucumbers are excellent and nutritious substitutes. When it comes to starchy food, opt for plain bread instead of the sweetened ones. Pretzels, baked chips, pastas, and plain crackers are great alternatives for cupcakes and pies. Avoid fat from meats and opt for chicken and turkey. Unsweetened and low-fat nuts and seeds are better for your teeth too.
While snacking may make you feel better, it is important to consider the health of your teeth too.
Pearly white teeth are assets and greatly contribute to one’s self confidence. This means that a healthy set of teeth will greatly help you in your daily life be it making new friends, meeting with clients, or even asking your boss for a raise. This can all be done by eating smart and eating less frequently.
Always remember to limit the intake of sugary or starchy treats as they contribute to tooth decay, try not to snack in between meals, and opt for naturally sweet food.
A healthy set of pearly whites can not only boost your confidence, it can even brighten someone’s day when you smile. So please always eat smart and eat healthy.