More and more people these days are snacking on the go, what with busy lifestyles and modern-day living. If you think you fall into this bracket, you should really consider changing your snacking habits if your dental health is lacking as a result.
Snacking, or grazing (eating frequently at irregular intervals), can be detrimental to the state of our teeth. Each time we eat or drink the pH balance in the mouth changes – it is during this process that our teeth can come under attack from plaque acids and our enamel can be damaged. On average, people consume two or three snacks outside of proper meals each day, which means teeth are being used too often and aren’t given enough time to rest and repair themselves between meals. Reducing snacking is important for good oral health – eating starchy foods and drinking sugary or acidic beverages throughout the day will have a long-term effect on your teeth by eroding the enamel.
Top tips for snackers
-If you must have sugary treats or drinks, then consume them at meal times and limit them between meals.
-It’s not just quantity or types of snacks that affect oral health, but the frequency in which they are consumed. So if you have a chocolate bar, you’re better off eating it all at once instead of eating it over a period of time.
-Drink water between meals and after snacks to help get rid of debris on your teeth.
-Chew sugarfree gum after eating and drinking, in order to help neutralise plaque acids and wash away food particles.
-If you must snack, opt for healthy snacks, such as an apple or pear, which are high in water content, diluting the effects of the sugars they contain, and also help to scrub away plaque and freshen breath.