- Frequent snacking
on foods containing sugar increases your risk of getting cavities.
- Each time you eat
sugar, plaque in the mouth combines with sugar to produce acid.
You need to eat a variety of
foods: grains, milk and milk products, meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Sweets can be addictive! Try to avoid developing a "sweet tooth" by
limiting foods high in sugar.
- These acid attacks
on the teeth over time can destroy the tooth structure.
Tips for Good Snacking
- Cut down on high
sugar snacks and choose snacks which are low in sugar such as vegetables,
cheese, or pretzels. These do not promote tooth decay.
- Cut down the number
of times a day you eat sugar in food and snacks. With frequent snacks,
the acidity of the mouth stays high. This exposes the tooth to acid
for extended time periods. Frequency of snacks will increase the
risk of getting cavities more than the amount eaten at one sitting.
- Avoid soft, sticky
sweets that lodge on and between tooth surfaces, such as gumdrops,
toffee, dried fruits, etc. Sticky foods are retained in the mouth
longer and as a result, the acid which destroys the tooth is produced
for a longer period of time. The consistency of the snacks increases
the risk of getting cavities more than the amount eaten.
- Natural sugars (found
in fruit, milk, bananas) have the same effect on your teeth as refined
sugars (found in soda pop, ice-cream, cake). Healthy foods should
not be avoided, however, brushing afterwards is important in the
prevention of tooth decay.
- Don't eat sugar-rich
foods that stay in the mouth and prolong the acid attack, such as
gum, hard candies, lollipops, etc.
- If you do serve
sweets, serve them with meals. Increased saliva flow during meals
helps neutralize the effects of sugar.
- Brushing and flossing
after snacks and meals is important in preventing cavities that
can form from exposure to sugar.
Information on Snacks
Nutritionally and Dentally Acceptable
low in sugar / high
||enriched or whole-wheat
|nuts and seeds
||whole grain cereal
Nutritionally Acceptable but Poor for Teeth
high in sugar / high in
Nutritionally and Dentally Least Desirable
high in sugar / low in
If you HAVE to eat
this stuff, a sensible approach is to make allowance for them once
in a while. Ideally, eat snacks at a time and place which allows you
to brush your teeth afterwards.
site is intended as general information only and should not
replace regular consultation with Dr.Talcott or the
Dental Hygienist. Copyright ©
2003 Dr Bob Talcott, DDS
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