Do you have a habit of snacking? Surprisingly, some of the most popular snack foods are bad for your oral health. Has your family dentist suggested dietary changes during your dental cleaning visits? Want to know why? Read on to find out what food items you should keep out of your pantry if you want healthy teeth.
Have you noticed how a bag of popcorn is a must-required snack when you are binge-watching a series or going to the movies? Yes, the entire world enjoys this ritual, but popcorn is not the greatest for your overall health, especially your teeth. Believe your family dentist next time they tell you about the harmful effects of popcorn snacking.
Eating popcorn can result in lactic acid creation in the mouth. Lactic acid sticks to your teeth and erodes the enamel layer exposing your teeth to sensitivity, decay, and other problems.
The high salt and calorie content in popcorn also puts you at risk of developing hypertension and heart disease. You could consciously replace popcorn with healthy snacking alternatives like fresh veggies and hummus. These are better for your teeth and your body!
Granola bars and trail mix
Granola bars and trail mixes are marketed as ‘healthy snacks,’ but they are not. Snacking on them often puts your health at risk, even more so when it comes to the health of your pearly whites! Usually, these bars and mixes contain dried fruits that are sticky and chewy. They get stuck inside the grooves and cracks of your tooth and are difficult to remove with a regular mouth rinse. If not addressed with a rigorous dental cleaning, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
They also have highly processed components of yogurt, chocolate, or nuts. Typically any packaged snack item has other preservatives and additives that are not the best for your health. In addition, the nuts that are processed and covered in sweet coatings can get hard and lead to tooth chipping, damage to tooth fillers, and even breakage. The processed ingredients generally have a high sugar content, which is very harmful to your teeth. Instead, you can replace trail mixes and granola bars with healthy alternatives such as pitted dates, peanut butter with oats, and soaked almonds.
If you think you are doing your child or yourself good by eating fruit cups, you couldn’t be more wrong! Touted as a form of fresh fruit, these sugary snacks are full of non-soluble cellulose-based fibre. This fibre traps the sugar around your teeth and can be even worse than many candies. The high level of added sugar in fruit cups can lead to inflammation, weight gain, fatty liver, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other serious health conditions.
It is best to include fresh fruits in your diet instead of snacking on fruit cups. If your child is not fond of eating fruits like that, try making a fruit salad. This will make sure they safely get the required nutrition.
This article elaborates on the harmful effects of only three types, but there are many other snacks you should avoid. Pickled foods, highly acidic gummies, citrus fruits, or fruit leathers are a few more categories you should eliminate from your diet to preserve the health of your teeth. Along with that, make sure to follow a strict oral care routine at home and go for regular dental cleaning. Your family dentist and pearly whites will be grateful for this!