Snacking between meals: What you need to know
Most of us snack between meals at least sometimes. It can be difficult to go for hours between lunch and dinner without food. However, when food is left on teeth for long periods of time, decay can quickly begin to form. While we don’t suggest going hungry in order to prevent cavities, there are some things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and your tummy happy.
Eat the right foods
We all know that sweets and sugary drinks are bad for your teeth, but what some are unaware of is that natural sugars in healthy foods can lead to decay as well. However, there are lots of foods that are good for your teeth. Cheese and sugar-free dairy products like yogurt are great sources of calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen teeth. Leafy greens contain magnesium, which also works to maintain strong teeth and bones. Crunchy foods like celery and carrots are also good snack options, as they stimulate saliva, which helps to protect teeth from decay.
Chew sugar free gum
Sugar free gum is usually sweetened with aspartame or sorbitol. It helps prevent cavities primarily by increasing saliva flow, which offers a natural cavity protection. After you eat, try chewing on some sugar free gum. It will do more than just freshen your breath!
Rinse your mouth out
If you’ve eaten a sugary or acidic snack, and you can’t brush your teeth, try rinsing your mouth out to wash away some of the plaque and food debris. You don’t need to use mouthwash, just plain water will do. This will minimize some of the damage that food being left on your teeth can do.
There’s no substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth. If you can’t bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to school or work with you, just brush your teeth as soon as you get home. It may be tempting after a long day of work or play to flop on the couch and turn on the TV, but taking a few minutes to brush and floss your teeth can do a lot to improve your oral health.