You know frequent snacking is bad for your waistline, but it can also be harmful to your smile. You’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat,” which applies to both your mouth and body. That doesn’t mean you need to eliminate snacking from your day to keep your smile healthy. Instead, it’s best to choose healthier alternatives and take a few precautions to ensure your afternoon snack doesn’t leave a lasting mark on your teeth and gums.
Is Your Snacking Hurting Your Smile?
Every time you eat sugary or starchy foods, like cookies, chips, or cake, you’re exposing your teeth to cavity-causing bacteria. Chances are you don’t brush your teeth when you’re finished. As a result, the sugars and starches linger on your teeth, slowly eroding your enamel. The more frequently you eat, the more often you’re placing your smile at risk of tooth decay.
It’s best to pick healthier alternatives, like low-fat yogurt or fresh fruits and vegetables. You can give in to your sweet tooth occasionally; however, be sure to brush your teeth well afterward. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum.
Break Your Snacking Habit
If you tend to graze throughout the day, eliminating snacking cold turkey can be miserable. You don’t need to deal with hunger pangs or sugar withdrawal. Instead, here are 4 tips to improve your diet and oral health:
1. Choose Smarter Food Choices: You want to stay away from processed foods because they often contain sugar. Fresh produce will give your body vital minerals and vitamins to support your oral and general health.
2. Plan Ahead: Many people reach for a quick snack while on the go. Convenience foods are handy, but they aren’t healthy. It’s better to meal plan a week at a time, so you’ll be prepared for every meal and snack to avoid eating out as often.
3. Eat Breakfast: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your first meal should consist of protein to keep your body fueled throughout the day to lessen the urge to snack.
4. Drink Plenty of Water: You know you need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, but your mouth also relies on it to stay moist. Instead of drinking sodas, juices, or sports drinks, reach for a cool glass of water.
Promote a Healthy Smile and Body
Don’t let poor nutrition compromise the health of your teeth and gums. A balanced diet is essential to keeping your mouth and body healthy. You’ll not only look and feel great, but you’ll promote a beautiful, confident smile.
About Dr. Natasha Patel
Dr. Patel earned her dental degree at Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine. She strives to make every patient feel comfortable while in her office. She will help you reach your dental health goals using a personalized treatment plan. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.