A lot of people have this habit of munching something, but do you know that snacking can affect your teeth? Well, it is not just children who need help with snacking all day and skipping meals. Even some adults keep on eating junk food and carbonated drinks which can affect their oral and overall health. Here we will be discussing how snacking affects your pearly whites, so keep on reading.
What happens to your teeth when you eat?
Let’s start with what happens when you eat or drink in general. Normally, there are bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria help break down the sugar and starches you eat or drink. So, when you eat or drink something, these bacteria will produce acid in your mouth that is in charge of lowering the pH levels of the mouth. and will help digest the food you eat.
This acid produced in your mouth can directly attack your teeth’s enamel causing the it to weaken and eventually damage it which leads to tooth decay. Having tooth decay makes a person is prone to the formation of cavities.
It only takes a few seconds to chew food or drink and for the acid in the mouth to produce but once the food is gulped down and has travelled to the stomach, it takes at least 20 minutes for your pH levels to neutralize. This time also depends on the size of the meal or snack.
Why does tooth decay happen?
Numerous studies have shown that frequent snacking is a big source of tooth decay because it causes enamel erosion and leads to cavities. When you eat frequently, your mouth is producing acid and it stays that way most of the time. But it is too much for teeth and they start to get damaged over time.
How to snack smartly?
The ideal solution to snacking is eating healthy meals but when you have the urge to snack something, make sure it is between meals and a good healthy snack. Any snack with a high amount of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats, and starches could be bad for teeth and your overall health. By eating these, you are contributing to the production of plaque and acid within the mouth. It will cause dental health concerns. So, if you want to munch something, try eating fresh fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas. Eat raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, celery, and leafy green vegetables. As for whole grains or nuts, try almonds and walnut. Be sure to limit the processed food.