Our Elmhurst Dentist Shares how Dangerous Snacking is for Your Smile
It’s no secret that snacking is an enjoyable and tasty past time. The thought of your favorite snack is something that will get you through the day, just to enjoy your treat at the perfect moment. Whether that treat is something sweet like a cupcake or something sour like a candy, it’s important to consider one thing – your teeth!
Every time you enjoy a sugary snack, the natural bacteria in your mouth works to increase the acidity. This acidity attacks and tries to break down the layer of your enamel – the surface of your teeth – that’s protecting the nerves within the dentin. This causes tooth decay, which leads to cavities and increases your risk of dental disease.
Whether you snack throughout the day, have a sweet tooth, or prefer sugary drinks like soda, your smile is in danger. Learn more below with the help of our Elmhurst dentist.
Why Good Nutrition for Your Smile is Important
While it’s extremely difficult to have a complete sugar-free diet, it’s important to keep an eye on how much sugar you’re consuming for a number of beneficial reasons. There is natural sugar in many foods we eat, but when it comes to additional sugar from desserts and snacks, your teeth may not be able to handle it. This greatly increases the risk of getting cavities as your teeth break down to the harmful bacteria of sweets and treats.
A balanced diet is essential. Not only will your smile be grateful, but your whole body will be, too!
The Harm of Snacking
If you snack throughout the way, in between your standard three meals a day, your teeth and gums don’t get a chance to rest and recuperate. The reason that health professionals insist on sticking to three meals a day is for the benefit of your overall health, including dental. If you continue to eat in between your major meals, your mouth doesn’t have time to create saliva to help fight back against the harmful bacteria of foods or help rebuild and strengthen your enamel. Instead, you’re allowing bacteria to continuously break down your enamel and weakening your teeth in the process. The time in between meals is valuable for your smile and should be cherished. During this time, drink some water instead to further increase the speed with which your saliva is protecting your smile. By the time your next meal comes around, your teeth will be prepared.
What are Ways to Stop Snacking?
To cut back or stop your snacking habits, check out some helpful tips below:
• Meal Prep or Plan Ahead: Having your meals planned out will give you a better idea of what you’ll be eating, and how much you’ll be eating, too. Without the structure, you may be tempted to graze and snack throughout the day.
• Don’t Forget Breakfast: There are numerous reasons why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast, but are hungry before lunchtime, you’re likely to snack on small things to be held over until your next meal. Having a balanced breakfast eliminates that possibility.
• Hydrate with Water: Instead of that extra cup of coffee, or looking for a boost with an energy drink, enjoy some water. Diuretics will only make you thirstier and dry out your mouth, harming your teeth even further. A cool glass of water will make you feel better in all the ways you’re looking for!
Don’t hesitate to ask our Elmhurst dentist for other helpful tips on ways to limit or avoid snacking for the benefit of your smile. Give our office a call at (718) 335-4980 for further questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment today!