The reason behind this is that anything you eat affects the health of your mouth. The bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth turn sugar and carbs into acid, and then acid can attack tooth enamel. Over time, this leads to tooth decay and – gasp – cavities. In addition to being bad for your waistline, frequent snacking can also be hard on your teeth and possibly lead to more cavities.
Some foods are better for your dental health than others. Choices like cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk contain minerals that teeth need. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears and carrots have a higher water content, which helps decrease the effects of the natural sugars they contain.
We know we don’t have to tell you that candy and other junk food are not good for your teeth. Foods that contain a lot of sugar will stick to teeth and give bacteria something to use to attack the tooth enamel.
Water is a great choice for a healthy smile. Soft drinks and lemonade contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay, and coffee and tea with added sugars are also culprits. Drinks containing sugar substitutes like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin aren’t as bad for dental health, as the bacteria in the mouth doesn’t recognize them as sugar.
Sugarless or sugar-free food sometimes simply means that no sugar was added to the foods during processing. However, this does not mean that the foods do not contain other natural sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, evaporated cane sugar, fructose, barley malt, or rice syrup. These natural sweeteners contain the same number of calories as sugar and can be just as harmful to teeth.
No matter what foods, drinks or snacks you choose, remember to brush at least twice a day and, if you can, after you have a meal or a snack.
Do you have an appointment scheduled? We’re always excited to talk about healthy snacks and brushing whenever you come to see us. Remember, you can always find us or book your appointment online at our brand new site, www.ChildrensDentistryofKnoxville.com