Snacks can give you the energy you need to get through the day, and they can curb your cravings in between meals. With that in mind, most “snack foods” are not ideal for oral health and hygiene. Before you stock your kitchen with junk food, you need to consider the impact your diet will have on your smile. Here are some snacking tips for healthy smiles, courtesy of our Michigan family dentistry clinic.
Beware Of Sugary Snacks
Sugar is your smile’s biggest enemy. Tooth decaying bacteria in your mouth feed off sugars from food, which means that your smile could be at risk of cavities later on. The candies you love may taste good in the moment, but they’re not good for your mouth. If you’re going to eat sugary snacks, try to schedule them close to a time when you brush your teeth. At the very least, use mouthwash after you each to swish out as much of the sugar as possible.
Eat Foods That Encourage Saliva Production
Crunchy foods like apples and pears encourage your mouth to create saliva. This keeps your mouth clean between brushing and eliminates bacteria that causes plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath. Nuts are also great to snack on because they act as miniature toothbrushes inside your mouth. You have to be careful about how hard the nuts are as they may cause your teeth to chip and break. Test out different foods and see which ones result in the cleanest feeling.
Chew Gum After Snacking
Believe it or not, chewing sugarless gum can help you keep your mouth clean. As we indicated above, saliva has the power to wash bacteria out of your mouth. Gum encourages saliva production. If you don’t have a chance to brush or rinse after snacking, try chewing on a piece of sugar free gum for up to 20 minutes.
Other Considerations For Snack Selections
In addition to the tips above, consider the following when you pick out snacks for your family:
- How often you snack throughout the day
- The texture of the food you snack on (chewy foods can be difficult to get rid of)
- How long it takes to consume the snacks you want to eat
- When your next brushing and flossing will be
If you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, your oral health will naturally improve. Be choosy about your snacks, and you’re sure to find some delicious treats to enjoy.