What makes snacks so appealing? Is it because they're quick? Is it because they're so easily accessible to enjoy? Is it because it feels like you're enjoying something you know you shouldn't, but it's just so tasty? If you've answered yes to these questions, then you're one of the many people who are tempted by delicious and convenient snacks. Unfortunately, while many of your favorite snacks are consumed on a daily basis, they may not be good for your health, including your smile.
Below, your Bethesda, MD dentist breaks down the dangers of snacking and how your smile is one of the first parts of your body that is negatively affected by this habit.
What makes snacking so harmful?
Having a healthy, but fulfilling breakfast, lunch and dinner is ideal when it comes to taking care of your body. If you're skipping meals or replacing them with snacks, you're not getting the proper nutrition your body needs.
You also be may snacking on something unhealthy that affects your teeth, too. Snacks that are either sugary or salty come in direct contact with your teeth and can weaken your enamel. When you have these snacks multiple times a day, you're continuing to break down the protective structure of your enamel, which can lead to sensitivity and other dental issues.
How can I snack smarter?
If you want to snack smarter, try to minimize the amount of snacking you do. When you snack in between meals, you're giving your mouth a limited time to try and protect your teeth. Throughout the day, your mouth creates saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates that neutralize acids and correct the pH levels in your mouth. If you continue to snack in between meals or replace an important meal with snacking, you're not allowing saliva to do its job!
Instead of the salty or sweet snacks that you may love, try switching them with foods that are good for your teeth, like carrots, celery, vegetables, strawberries, cucumbers, and other raw fruits and vegetables. Not only will these improve your diet, but they'll work with you to stimulate your saliva glands and continue to correct those pH levels.
While snacks don't have to be completely ruled out of your routine, your Bethesda, MD dentist urges you to make some conscious changes on what you're snacking on and how often so you can protect your teeth. If you are interested in learning more about snacking options or how to take care of your teeth if you snack, simply give our office a call at (301) 652-3997 today.