The effect snacking has on your smile

Frequent snacking is most likely the cause of much oral health misery. You should consider changing your snacking habits if you feel like your dental health is lacking but aren’t sure why.

Snacking on the wrong foods between meals can not only lead to weight gains, but it can also cause tooth decay. In fact, continual snacking or grazing, even on seemingly healthy foods, can lead to teeth being used too often. Teeth need time to rest and repair themselves between meals.

A survey conducted by the Washington Dental Service Foundation (WDSF) in America found that 61% of people in Washington did not know that reducing snacking is important for good oral health. Nearly half of the state’s population (47%) seem to be snacking heavily enough to put their teeth at risk, by coating them with food, sugar or acidic or sweetened drinks.

Eating starchy foods and drinking sugary or acidic beverages throughout the day will cause the acid in food and drink to attack tooth enamel. Over time the enamel will become eroded, leaving teeth vulnerable to a variety of problems.

Here are some tips to reduce the amount of time food and drinks spend on teeth:

  • If you have sweet treats or drinks, consume them at meal times. Limit sugary and acidic drinks and starchy foods between meals.
  • If you have a snack, eat it all at once instead of nibbling at it over time. It’s not just the quantity or type of snacks that affects oral health – it’s also the frequency with which they are consumed.
  • Drink water, especially fluoridated water, between meals and after snacks to rinse debris off your teeth.
  • Brush teeth twice a day and floss daily. Flossing cleans about 40% of your tooth surfaces.
  • Choose healthy snacks that are good for your teeth, such as carrots, fruit, nuts or cheese.

“People may be surprised that even snacks that seem healthy, such as bagels, granola bars and raisins can negatively impact your oral health,” said Eve Rutherford, Board Chair of the WDSF. “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.”

Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.