Smart Snacking for Your Smile

Snacking is a part of life for kids, and it has many overall health and nutritional benefits. However, too much of the wrong types of snacks can damage their teeth. There are two important things to keep in mind when choosing snacks: type and frequency. It’s important to make smart choices to reduce the risk of tooth decay and promote a healthy smile.

Types of Snacks

Most people understand that certain foods are better for your teeth than others. Not surprisingly, most of the foods that are good for your dental health are good for your overall physical health as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products including milk and cheese, grains and meats such as chicken or turkey are smart choices for good oral hygiene. On the flip side, sugary treats such as candy, honey and caramel stick to the teeth and can lead to tooth decay. So whenever possible, it’s important to choose healthy, non-sugary snacks. Of course that’s not realistic all the time. Sweets are fine every now and then, but should be chosen selectively and always followed by a thorough tooth-brushing.

Frequency

Just as the type of snacks you eat have an impact on your dental health, the frequency of eating these snacks also plays a major role. You may think you’re showing willpower by making that Snickers bar last all day long, but nibbling on a candy bar for hours is actually worse for your teeth than eating it all at once. The reason?  The sugar stays in your mouth longer, which produces acids that then sit on your teeth all day. The same concept applies to lollipops and other candies designed to last a long time. So if you just have to have that candy bar (no judgment here, we understand), just eat it, enjoy it, then brush your teeth and move on.

Making smart snacking choices not only benefits your teeth, but it can benefit your overall physical and emotional health as well. And that’s something to smile about.

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