Are You Damaging Your Teeth With Frequent Snacking?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 04:34 PM

If you have any interest in health and fitness, you will doubtless have heard about the need to eat ‘little but often’ in order to ‘stoke the metabolic fire’. In other words, regular snacking is said to help keep you slim. In reality, snacking is a modern invention and it appears to correlate with the massive increase in obesity; although correlation admittedly does not mean causation.

What Does This Have To Do With My Teeth?

One of the reasons for the rise in obesity is the ‘type’ of snacks we consume which are, more often than not, laden with sugar. As you know, this greatly increases the rise of cavities. Yet there is another issue; your teeth are under constant attack from the plaque acids that form on teeth which leads to damaged enamel.

Whenever we eat or drink, the pH balance in our mouth changes which places us in a ‘danger zone’ where the process of tooth demineralization can occur. Even if you follow the usual guidelines of brushing twice a day and flossing between meals and snacks, your teeth are still at risk because they spend large portions of the day being attacked by the aforementioned acids.

There is evidence which suggests that eating 6 times a day is hardly any more effective than eating 3 meals a day. The main concern is calories in versus calories out (although meal timing can be somewhat important) so as long as you eat healthily, you don’t necessarily have to snack a few times a day.

If you prefer to snack in between meals, you should get into the eat, drink, chew habit which involves chewing sugarfree gum for 20 minutes after eating as it can help neutralize plaque acids, remineralize tooth enamel and wash away food particles.

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