Nothing can beat sugary snacks! They taste awesome.
However, sugary foods are neither good for your body nor for your teeth. Sweet stuff like cakes and cookies or saturated sugary stuff like candies that children like to have in between their bigger meals is one of the primary reasons for tooth decay.
Another disadvantage of having sugary foods is that they contain a lot of fat too. And, this can lead to heath issues in the long run.
What is it that makes sugars the agents of tooth decay?
Our mouth is the home to invisible micro organisms called bacteria. Bacteria in the mouth also form a sticky substance called plaque as a layer on your teeth. At this point, when sugar is ingested, the bacteria present in the layer of plaque start eating the sugar and convert it to acids. Now acids are known to be abrasive in nature and go on to dissolve the enamel of your teeth. This is where the cavities start to build up. If less sugar is eaten, then the bacteria cannot form enough acids to dissolve the enamel. It’s as simple as that!
Snacking habits to avoid tooth decay
Once tooth decay starts manifesting itself, it becomes a sort of chain reaction and moves on from one tooth to the neighboring one and so on. It also leads to gum diseases and leaves you in a bad oral constitution. I have witnessed many cases of tooth decay going from bad to worse during my stint as a dental surgeon responsible for periodontal maintenance in Vancouver, WA. However, the good news is that it can be prevented if you keep a check on your snacking habits.
The simple mantra is ensuring that you should avoid sugary foods. If at all, you do eat these sugary foods, you should ensure that you keep the frequency of having them at a minimum. The sugars continue to be converted to acids by the bacteria in your mouth and dissolve your enamel at least for twenty minutes after each intake before they are completely neutralized. So the more number of times you ingest sugar, the more vulnerable you are to tooth decay.
If at all you eat sugary foods, it is the best to have them as desserts. Following a meal with brushing your teeth is a very good idea.
Choose snacks with low sugar content. Low-fat foods like raw vegetables, fruits, and whole grain breads are good food choices. Fruit juices without sweeteners, tomatoes, pears, pineapples, berries, cucumbers and carrots are good foods, which help in maintaining the pH balance of your mouth and prevent tooth decay. Also, make it a point to avoid having sweets between your main meals. In case, you cannot resist having a sweet between your meals, then be diligent enough to follow your meal with a thorough brushing of your teeth with fluoride based toothpaste.
Your teeth are your assets and a key to your self confidence. So, it is imperative that you protect them by subscribing to the prescribed foods and follow the best practices to maintain a good oral health.