What do you do when your stomach suddenly rumbles, and there’s still time before mealtime? In many cases, you might be tempted to look for snacks. This seemingly harmless habit might be something you do every day, but it might be doing some nasty things for your oral health.
Snacking can be quite bad for teeth simply because, in most cases, people do not brush their teeth after snacking. You might then argue that if you just brush your teeth right after, it should be fine, right? However, just how effective is brushing your teeth after snacking? That is the question you should be asking yourself.
Let us delve deeper into snacking and talk about how it may harm your oral health, whether you should continue snacking, and what you can do to minimize the results of the habit.
The dangers of snacking
Snacking is necessary for some people, such as those who need to maintain their blood sugar levels. But for the majority of us, we need to consider its impact. Apart from snacking being an unhealthy habit (if you eat stuff like sweets, processed foods, and more), it can hurt your oral health simply because you did not brush your teeth right after.
You should be aware by now that if you leave food particles in your mouth, you increase the risk of bacterial growth that can lead to decay, infections, and more. However, this does not mean you should stop snacking at all. It can still be beneficial if you are smart about it.
How to snack healthily
To minimize the dangers of snacking and even make it a healthy habit, there are some things you can do. First, snack mostly on fresh fruits and vegetables. They provide your body with plenty of nutrients to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health.
Do be careful, however, with some fruits. Some can be quite sweet, and too much sweetness is never a good thing. Chewing gum can also be quite helpful to clean the gums from debris and even stimulate blood circulation in the gum, but it is harmful if done too long. Just be sure to pick sugar-free options and to keep everything in moderation!
Regardless of what you eat, brushing your teeth after snacking can maximize your oral health. If you can, bring around a toothbrush and some floss wherever you go. Mouthwash can also suffice if you do not have the time to brush your teeth. However, with these products becoming more portable, there really is no excuse for you not to bring these products around.
Overall, if you want to snack, be ready to clean your teeth. This is the surefire way to reduce any dangers that snacking may present to your teeth. As for your body, eating healthy snacks will allow you to maintain your health while still satisfying your cravings.
That being said, always consult your dentist for snacking strategies if you want to know how you can maximize your oral health while snacking. They will advise about better habits and give you the tools to protect your oral health.
Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry is an emergency dentist in Raleigh, NC, offering dental crowns, tooth fillings, and various other dental services. Make an appointment with us today to give your oral health the care it requires.