If you want to maintain strong teeth for your lifetime, you need to ensure you are eating enough whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and raw vegetables and lean meats.
Some Other Healthy Snack Choices Include:
- nuts and seeds
- peanut butter
- plain yogurt
Acid Erosion and Dental Decay:
There are some drinks and snacks that are bad for your teeth and may contribute to acid erosion. Acid erosion happens when food or drink with a low PH level (more acidic) are consumed. That acid can linger in your mouth, taking the minerals away and softening the surface of your teeth. This makes your teeth more susceptible to damage and often leads to increased sensitivity and may require treatment. The big offenders seem to be soft drinks, orange juice, and lemonade.
- Try to avoid acidic food and drink between meals; there isn't as much saliva in your mouth at these times to protect your teeth (saliva is the mouth's natural cleanser).
- Don't clean your teeth right after eating. If you brush while your oral PH balance is low and more acidic, you can brush some of your tooth surface away. If you wait about an hour the saliva will help your teeth battle and balance the acidic environment so it is safe to brush.
- Try to finish your breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a little cheese or milk as these products help cut down on the acid in your mouth.
A Little Note About Sweets!
When it comes to your teeth, it's not about the amount of sweets you eat, but the length of time that you leave your teeth exposed to sweets. So it's better to eat sweets at mealtimes rather than between meals, as the amount of saliva produced at mealtimes will help protect your teeth.
If you cannot avoid sweets between meals, choose something with less sugar like those listed above. Sticky sweets like toffee or hard candy should be avoided as snacks.
--Sara Agnew, RDH