Snack what it’s really doing
Your alarm didn’t go off this morning so your late for work. You quickly get yourself ready, grab a banana and rush out of the house. Finally its morning tea time eureka! Just what you needed a nice dose of caffeine to see you through the next couple of hours. Which no doubt you’ll sit day dreaming about what lunch has in store for you; BLT sandwich, diet coke and maybe a side of something sweet. You survived your day and you can finally head home, relax and enjoy dinner. Not long after dinner you find yourself rummaging around the fridge for something sticky sweet to curb the hungry – because what is the point of having something so delicious just sitting in the fridge?? With your hunger now satisfied you can brush your teeth and happily rest your head on the pillow knowing you looked after your teeth today.
But wait a minute is brushing your teeth going to stop any damage to your teeth??
Everyone knows that snacking on sugary and processed foods is bad for your waistline. But what about the effects of an unhealthy diet on your oral health? Would you believe us if I told you that in this scenario, a banana did more harm to your teeth than that sweet treat you snuck in at lunch?
When you eat, the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth feed off of dietary sugars and produce the acid that, if not cleared away, destroys dental enamel. This demineralisation process can lead to decay and the bacteria can cause infection.
So, why did your banana cause more harm than the chocolate cake? The answer lies in the texture. Soft and sticky foods provide the perfect environment for bacteria to adhere to and accumulate over time. Snacking contributes to the development decay by:
1.Frequency of consumption
2.Amount of time that food is left in contact with teeth
Snacking between meals leaves your teeth susceptible to decay as you are constantly feeding these bacteria and increasing the pH level in favour of demineralisation. You ate the banana, and then drank coffee with milk and sugar an hour later. You ate lunch, had the sweet treat, and before you realised, it was dinnertime. Food was left in contact with your teeth all day, forcing constant acidity and preventing neutralization.
Here are our top snacking tips to help prevent demineralisation in your mouth;
Our top Snacking Tips:
1.Avoid added sugar and acidic beverages
2.Brush at least twice a day and flossing daily
3.Use fluoridated toothpaste
4.Keep snacking to a minimum by consuming your snacks at one time, don't graze on your snack for the next hour.
5. Allow enough time in the morning to eat a proper healthy breakfast and to brush your teeth before you leave the house.