Snack Habits & Your Dental Health
Your diet affects more than your waistline; it also affects your teeth. You already know that sugary foods can cause tooth decay, but there are other foods that you might not even think about that can be bad for your dental health. Any food that has the ability to get stuck in your teeth, especially in the crevices, has the ability to cause tooth decay, which is why healthy snacks are much better for your dental health than any others.
The Types of Sugar
The processed, convenience foods available in the grocery store contain regular sugar as well as sugar in many other forms, including high fructose corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup and cane sugar, just to name a few. Each of these sugars feed the bacteria in your mouth and get turned into acid, which puts your teeth at risk for decay. In addition, carbohydrates turn to sugar in your mouth. This means that potato chips, crackers, breads and any other starchy foods break down into sugar in your mouth, furthering the risk of decay.
Sticky Treats and Sugary Drinks
Food that sticks to your teeth for long periods of time, such as gummy candies or snacks will linger there even longer. This means that you put your teeth at risk for even further decay. Sugary drinks operate in the same way. Any drink with sugar in it including fruit juices and sodas, let sugar wash around in your mouth, allowing the bacteria to build up and the acid to form that eats away at your enamel.
The healthiest snacks for your teeth include fruits and vegetables that are firm, such as pears, apples and carrots. Other good choices include cheese, nuts, lean proteins and milk. When you pay attention to the foods that you eat all day, especially at snack times, you will be able to monitor not only your weight, but also your dental health. Choosing to avoid candy, cookies, chips, dried fruits, muffins and cakes will help you to fight the risk of excessive tooth decay.