What you eat affects the health of your body, but also the health of your mouth and teeth. While you probably know that sugar is bad, you may not know what is good for you in terms of healthy snacking. You also may not understand why something that tastes as good as sugar is so unhealthy for your oral health.
Sugar, which comes in many forms such as honey, molasses, or fructose, is very tantalizing to bacteria in your mouth. When you consume sugar, the bacteria feast on it and then turn into acid, which can lead to tooth decay. Starchy foods aren’t great either because starch can turn to sugar in your mouth.
If your favorite snacks are cakes, candies and sweets, here are healthy treats to help keep you satisfied and reduce the risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues.
Carrots, celery, and broccoli
Vegetables like carrots, celery, and broccoli are high in fiber, making them good snack choices. The water content and fiber help counterbalance any sugars you consume by stimulating saliva production and washing sugar and food particles away. It’s important to note though that all hard, crunchy vegetables must be thinly sliced and steamed or cooked so that chewing them does not overcome the adhesive and cause brackets and bands to detach.
Cheese, milk, and yogurt
Think dairy when it comes to snacks. Sugar-free yogurt and cheese sticks are great low sugar portable snacks that help protect tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphorus-rich foods remineralize teeth, which helps keep them strong and healthy.
Sugarless chewing gums
As long as it’s sugar-free, gum is good for your mouth. Chewing gum stimulates saliva, which helps wash away sugar and harmful bacteria.
Pears, melons, and apples
Fruits such as pears, melons, and apples are high in water and fiber content, which helps balance the natural sugars they contain. They’re also sweet and juicy, which makes them an enjoyable snack on a hot day. Just make sure to properly slice any fruit you eat to prevent brackets from breaking off.
Water, unsweetened iced teas, and milk are the healthiest beverages for your mouth, with water being the No. 1 best choice. Many drinks like sports drinks and juices appear to be healthy but are packed with sugar, so you should avoid them.
Looking for more ways to keep your mouth healthy and your smile dazzling? Call us at Lansdowne Orthodontics today to make an appointment.