Most of us like to snack, and is often easiest to grab something sugary and sweet that gives us a quick boost of energy. Who hasn’t reached for a candy bar, cookies or chips when feeling hungry? While these snacks may taste good they are not the best choice for your teeth and here’s why.
Sugary Snacks Feed Mouth Bacteria
Everybody has bacteria in the mouth, and some of these bacteria can be harmful. These are plaque bacteria that live off the sugary and starchy remains of foods. They thrive on these foodstuffs, and as they eat they produce acid that is strong enough to soften your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard outer covering on teeth and helps protects your teeth against tooth decay. When tooth enamel is softened then it increases the likelihood of you developing a cavity.
After a while the mouth does become less acidic, and the tooth enamel will re-harden slightly, but frequent snacking will continually soften the enamel, eventually eroding it away. If you snack on lots of sugary or starchy foods in between meals then you’re at increased risk of developing tooth decay and needing a filling at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. So what can you do if you want a snack?
Dentist in Fresno CA tells you that luckily there are healthy alternatives. If you want a snack then reach for apples, pears or other crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots. It is best to choose crunchy fruits and veggies as these contain lots of water and fiber. The water helps to wash away excess food particles, which the fiber has a very slight scrubbing action on teeth, but is certainly not a substitute for brushing! Citrus fruits, and fruits and vegetables that are slightly acidic such as strawberries and tomatoes are healthy choices for your body as they are rich in vitamins, but the acids will attack your teeth, so it is best to include these foods during a main meal, or to rinse your mouth with plain water after eating.
Milk and dairy products are all good for teeth as they are high in calcium that helps to harden tooth enamel. Choose non-sweetened yoghurt and low fat milk. Hard cheese is also a great, tooth friendly snack, Lean meats and natural seeds and nuts are also good choices for snacks.
When choosing your snack just pause and think whether or not it will stick to your teeth. Certain food choices such as cookies, chips and sweetened cereals can have the ability to stick to your teeth for long periods of time. This means these foods will be providing food for plaque bacteria for longer than foods that are more easily rinsed away by saliva and water, and this is what you need to avoid. Foods such as taffy and other particularly sticky treats are not good news for your teeth. Ideally you want to choose foods that are not high in sugars and fats.
Don’t Forget Regular Checkups
Regular checkups are vital for helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and your dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center will be able to see if you have any signs of tooth decay, and can help recommend the best way to ensuring your tooth enamel remains strong and resistant to acids. We can advise you on the best way to brush and floss at home, as well as the use of fluoride products to help strengthen tooth enamel.
Dentist in Fresno CA