Snacking and Dental Health

Sugar and plaque are the main causes of dental decay. Plaque is a clear and sticky film that forms on your teeth every day. It contains germs (or bacteria ) that sticks to your teeth. When sugar in food and drinks react with plaque, it forms an acid that eats away at the tooth’s hard outer layer (enamel). When a hole is made in the enamel, a cavity is created.

Some factors to consider when snacking

  • Choose snacks that are nutritious and unsweetened. Healthy food is good for your general health and your dental health
  • Read the ingredients list when choosing snacks: Honey, molasses, glucose, and fructose are all types of sugar.
  • Eat sweets with meals, not as a snack. The increased flow of saliva during a meal helps wash away and dilute sugars.
  • Reduce the length of time that sweet food stays in contact with your teeth. Avoid sipping sugared beverages for a long period of time, sucking on a candy or chewing sugared gum.
  • Brush your teeth after eating sweets. Sticky food stays in contact with teeth longer.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar free gum when brushing is not possible.

Some Healthy Snacking Ideas

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hummus
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable juice
  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas

Don’t forget to brush at least twice with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day!