Are you a snacker? If so, how often do you make your snack choices based on the health of your smile? It is absolutely important to consider the foods that fuel the health of your body between meals, but it is also important to think about their impact on your teeth. The drinks and foods you consume throughout your day, in between meetings or as an afternoon pick-me-up, can sit on your teeth for long periods of time – so choose wisely. Here are some snacking tips for a healthier, brighter smile:
It is not always easy to identify foods that are bad for your teeth. Some foods, such as dried fruits, may seem like a healthy option but they carry a noteworthy threat to your smile. Dried fruits contain non-cellulose fiber, which is a sticky substance and traps sugar on your teeth. If you must indulge in that pack of raisins or dried figs, reach for your toothbrush and floss soon after.
Sipping water between your snack bites can be the next best thing to actually grabbing a toothbrush, which we know is hard to do if you are snacking on the go. Water can rinse away food debris, sugars, acids and harmful bacteria on your teeth so that your smile doesn’t get bathed in all the wrong stuff until your next brushing session. Choosing water instead of fruit juice or soda can go a long way in protecting your pearly whites. Following your snacking session with a piece of sugar-free gum is another great way to ensure your snacking habit doesn’t ruin your smile.
You are probably well aware of the staining powers of red wine, but did you know that the acids in white wine can be equally bad for your teeth. Acids wear down your tooth enamel, which leaves your teeth much more susceptible to staining. Try adding some cheese to buffer the harmful effects. Cheese contains protein, calcium and phosphorus, all of which can help neutralize the acids that your favorite glass of wine leaves behind.
If your smile is looking dull or you find yourself battling tooth decay or gum disease, it may be worth a second look at your snacking habits. Your dentist can help you identify any poor food or drink choices that could be sabotaging your smile.