The Effects of Snacking on Your Teeth

It’s been a long day, you’ve been hit with 3:30-itis and you decide to treat yourself to a snack, a cupcake and extra sugar in your coffee. You can just work it off at the gym later, right?

Stop for one moment and consider this: what about your teeth?

Every time you snack on a sugary meal, the bacteria in your mouth will work to increase the acidity of your mouth. That acid can attack the layer of enamel protecting your teeth causing tooth decay and increasing your risk of dental disease.

Do you graze (avoiding the main meals in favor of lots of little ones)? Do you have a sweet tooth (eat sweets or biscuits throughout the day)? Do you reach for sugary drinks (soda drinks, sports drinks or even flavored milk)?

If any of those habits belong to you, you may be putting yourself at risk of tooth decay as well as exposing yourself to other health problems.

People eating donuts from above.


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Good Nutrition Means Healthy Teeth

Today, it's almost impossible to have a sugar-free diet. Sugar occurs naturally in many everything we eat, usually as fructose (in fruits and honey) and glucose (carbohydrates). The foods that contain those sugars are also our sources of vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that our body needs.

It’s the added sugar that can start to create an unexpected trip to the dentist, and sugar can appear where you don’t expect it. Next time you are in the supermarket, compare the sugar content of a tub of strawberry yogurt with a tub of chocolate custard. Surprised?

A balanced diet, low in added sugar, is not only a great way to look and feel healthier but it will protect your teeth and preserve your winning smile!

Reduce Snacking for Healthy Teeth

balanced, teeth-friendly diet doesn’t need to be rigid, or boring, and it definitely doesn’t need to mean less food and calorie counting.

Any diet rich in fresh produce (vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, and fish) and low in processed foods is a great start. Processed foods are generally foods that have already been cooked in some way can be very high in added sugar.

A diet low in processed food and high in fresh produce might seem like more work and more time. Not so! Making smarter food choices requires a little more organization but the benefits of looking and feeling great, with great teeth to boot, are worth it!

Getting Started

Follow these simple diet tips to keep your body looking great and your dentist happy:

  • Plan ahead: Think about your weekly meals a few days in advance and cook a bit extra for a quick and easy meal later in the week.
  • Eat breakfast: It really is the most important meal of the day. A big breakfast, high in protein, is going to fuel your body and keep your appetite at bay, meaning you will ‘graze’ less.
  • Hydrate with water: Instead of a can of fizzy drink, or flavored milk, stop and think what the sugar is doing to your teeth. Think about drinking water instead. Your body will thank you for it and you may find you feel less lethargic.
  • Cut back on added sugar and processed foods: Processed foods have huge amounts of added and hidden sugar, which can lead to dental disease. Check the added sugar content in white bread and you may be shocked.
  • Eat real food: A balanced diet is key. Cut back your sugar content usually means eating foods that occur naturally like vegetables, nuts, legumes, and well-sourced dairy and meats.

Remember, a poor diet can lead to poor oral health and dental disease. Making smart food choices means you will look, great, feel great and keep your teeth looking great.

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