Healthy snacks for your teeth are a great source of nutrition and added oral hygiene. It’s no secret that frequently snacking on processed, sugary foods doesn’t help with your overall physical health. But, did you ever consider what it does to your oral health?
When you eat something, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths feed on sugars. This leads to the production of acid. Since you might not have the time to brush your teeth every time you eat, the acid that isn’t cleared away can erode your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay.
The great news is that there are healthy snacks for your teeth that can prevent this common problem.
Snacking Factors That Increase Tooth Decay
There are two major aspects of snacking that can put you at risk of cavities and tooth decay. That’s why healthy snacks for teeth are much more beneficial for your oral health. The two risk factors of snacking are:
Consumption frequency, and
The amount of time food stays in contact with teeth
The more frequently you eat, and the longer your teeth are exposed to the sugars from your food, the more vulnerable you are to tooth decay.
Tips to Consider for Healthy Snacks for Your Teeth
When it comes to healthy snacks for your teeth, you don’t have to put in much thought with these tips. Before we dive into tips for healthy snacks for your teeth, let’s talk about what makes snacking a problem.
The most common problem with snacking has to do with the texture of the food.
Soft and/or sticky foods are the worst! They provide the ideal environment for bacteria to adhere to the teeth and thrive.
Snacks that are already high in sugar can be particularly damaging to the teeth.
When it comes to sugar, it’s important to consider the number of carbs in your foods as well. For example, a small square of plain chocolate would actually be one of the healthy snacks for teeth over a handful of animal crackers.
4 Snacking Tips to Improve Oral Health
Avoid added sugar and acidic beverages to maintain a neutral pH in your mouth.
Brush twice a day (or after every meal) and floss every night before bed.
Rinse your mouth with water after snacking.
Snack on foods like almonds, cheese, fruits, and vegetables with high water and high fiber content. Carrots and apples are great, but if you have braces be sure to cut up the apples first!
Oral Health Is Connected to Whole Body Health
Of course, you probably already know that oral health is connected to whole body health. But, it might be easily forgotten that small snacks can even affect your oral health. Always remember, what you ingest goes throughout your entire body. Snacking can be a difficult habit to break. Healthy snacks for teeth can help maintain your oral health and keep that beautiful smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve!