Snacking and your smile

An easy way to improve your overall health as well as your oral health is to cut down on snacking too often. Stopping this habit, which can be detrimental to your dental health, can improve your health, your appearance, and even save you some money!

Frequently snacking on unhealthy foods can cause weight gain, as well as tooth decay. Continually snacking can also lead to the teeth being used too often, as they need time to repair themselves between meals.

A survey conducted in America found that 61% of people didn’t know that cutting down on frequent snacking was an important factor in improving your oral health, whilst 47% of the state’s population seemed to snack often enough to risk the health of their teeth by coating them with food, acidic or sweetened drinks, or sugar.

Drinking sugary or acidic drinks, or starchy food constantly throughout the day will cause the acid in the food and drink to attack tooth enamel, which will eventually erode and leave teeth vulnerable to numerous problems.

Eve Rutherford, Board Chair of the WDSF, said that ‘people may be surprised that even snacks that seem healthy, such as bagels, granola bars and raisins, can negatively impact your oral health,’ and advised that ‘If you’re going to snack, do it all at once opposed to munching frequently throughout the day. After snacking it’s important to drink and swish water to rinse off your teeth.’

Other tips to reduce the amount of time food and drink remain on your teeth include:

– consuming sweet treats or drinks during mealtimes, and limiting the amount of starchy or acidic foods eaten in between meals

– eating snacks all at once instead of nibbling slowly

– drinking water (especially fluoride water if possible) between meals and snacks to wash debris from the food or drinks off your teeth

– brushing twice a day, and flossing daily, as flossing cleans around 40% of your tooth surfaces

– eating healthy snacks which are good for your teeth, such as carrots, fruits and nuts, or cheese

For more advice on how to maintain healthy teeth, or to book your next appointment, call Dental Care Partnership today on 0121 354 1922.