Smart Snacks for Healthy Teeth

As you already know – the foods you eat affect your general health. But did you know that the foods you eat also affect your oral health? Our teeth and gums require not only proper hygiene, but also a balanced diet.

 

A lot of snacks that taste delicious are not good for your teeth. Food and drinks high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. Bacteria lives in our mouth at all times and when we consume these types of foods, the bacteria feed off the sugars and produce acid. The acid is powerful enough to break down your enamel, the outer surface layer of your teeth, causing tooth decay.

 

The more you snack throughout the day, the more often you feed bacteria the fuel they need to cause tooth decay. Luckily if you like to snack, there are plenty of wise food choices for your teeth. Below are a variety of snacks from the five major food groups that you might enjoy, and your teeth will surely appreciate:

 

Grains:

  • Bread
  • Plain Bagels
  • Unsweetened cereal
  • Unbuttered popcorn
  • Pasta
  • Plain Crackers

 

Fruits:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Tangerines

 

Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes

 

Dairy:

  • Low or non-fat milk
  • Low or non-fat yogurt
  • Low or non-fat cheese
  • Low or non-fat cottage cheese

 

Protein:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Sliced meats
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts

 

Please know that the foods listed have not all been tested for their decay-causing potential. However, knowledge to date indicates that they are less likely to promote tooth decay, unlike heavily sugared foods.

 

Next time you grab a snack, ask yourself what’s in the food you’ve chosen. Is it loaded with sugar? If it is, think again. And remember it’s always a good idea to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals.

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