Could Snacking Hurt the Smiles You Love?

Family Dentistry Warrensburg MOAs many children prepare to head back to the classroom, millions of parents are scouring Pinterest and the aisles of their local grocery store to find healthy snacks to drop into lunchboxes and backpacks. Snacking is a beloved pastime for people of all ages, really; and it was initially a habit that was intended to boost energy and mood during that mid-afternoon slump that most of us experience. Snacks can provide an energy boost and then some. Here, we want to point out a few reasons why mid-day treats need to be selected with care.

Snacking Could Support Dental Plaque

Usually, when we talk about dental problems, we hear terms like “cavities” and “gum disease.” It is interesting that we don’t hear quite as much about plaque because this sticky biofilm is the precursor to most dental problems. We get cavities because plaque, a mixture of microscopic debris, bacteria, and saliva, sits on teeth and around the gums. Plaque is also a primary factor in gum recession, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. We don’t want plaque to remain in the mouth for any longer than it absolutely must. We certainly don’t want to feed it, yet that’s precisely what might happen when we consume snacks that are sugary or carb-heavy.

Snacking Can Erode Teeth

Teeth are going to wear down over time just by natural friction and force. There is no benefit to supporting this process through innocent snacking. Research has suggested that several common foods and beverages, including pickles, vinegar dressings, coffee, and soda, can soften enamel, leading to accelerated wear and tear. When enamel erodes, it wears away and cannot be restored. Worn down enamel can open the door for discoloration, cracks, and fractures that need to be repaired with cosmetic treatment or dental crowns.

Saving Your Smile is Easy

It doesn’t take much to protect your smile and the smiles you love. Studies have indicated that sugar and acidic residue can be diluted by rinsing the mouth out with water after meals and snacks. Brushing immediately after eating is not necessary and could worsen the problem by softly scratching enamel. In addition to rinsing, effort should be made to consume or provide healthy, whole-food snacks that build strong teeth.

Let us help you protect your smile. Call Ridgeview Family Dental at 660-747-9117.

Posted in: General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry

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