If you’ve been spending more time at home lately, you’re probably a bit out of routine with your normal meals and snacks. If your fridge and cupboard have been calling out your name for frequent snacks, then these tips are for you.
Many things in this world are okay in moderation. We already know that too much sugar, and too much acid provides a recipe for tooth sensitivity and cavities. So instead of telling you which foods are bad for your teeth, we’re going to discuss the best foods for our teeth.
Stay tuned until the end because I bet number 6 will surprise you!
1. Dairy products
Most people already know about this one. Our teeth are made out of calcium and phosphate, and dairy products have a lot of these. This means that dairy products can actually help to remineralise our teeth and strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese, milk and plain yogurt are all excellent choices.
2. Green and black tea
Tea contains little molecules called polyphenols, which have been shown to kill plaque. Be aware though, drinking lots of tea will lead to staining, and having sugar or honey in your tea is going to undo all the good work!
3. Leafy greens
Leafy greens are another great source of calcium, and also contain vitamin B which is important for gum health. Plus, they have incredible cancer fighting properties. Excellent examples are kale, bok choy and broccoli. You might want to roast some kale for a crunchy snack to turn to instead of those tempting potato chips!
4. Fibre rich fruit and vegetables
These are great because the fibre can actually help to scrub plaque off our teeth while we’re chewing. Eating a carrot is certainly no substitute for brushing your teeth, but it’s definitely one of the best snack choices you can make. Other examples of fibre rich options include cucumbers, and apples.
Almonds are great because they are a really convenient snack. They are high in calcium and low in sugar. They are a safer choice than sugary foods for snacking between meals.
6. Dark chocolate
6. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa bean husk has actually been shown to both inhibit plaque formation, and harden enamel but be careful, because high sugar milk chocolates are definitely going to do more harm than good. Just one catch – it needs to be 70% of higher!
Finally let’s talk about frequency of snacking. No one is perfect all the time and sometimes you just need something sweet or carby and that’s okay as a one off. However, if frequent snacking is becoming a common occurrence, it’s likely you are doing some dental damage.
Sugary or acidic foods and drinks are best consumed at meal times. For instance, rather than having lunch at 12pm and a chocolate at 2pm, have the chocolate with your lunch to reduce the frequency of acid and sugar attacks. This gives your saliva the time it needs between meals to help your mouth recover and protect your teeth.
If you like to learn more about how your diet can affect your teeth check out our articles ‘Alcohol Consumption and Oral Cancer’, and ‘Did you know… too much dietary acid causes tooth erosion?‘. For some delicious sugar free recipes check out our ‘Black Bean Brownies‘ and ‘Sugar Free Banana Bread’.
For more individual information about how your snacking habits can affect your oral health book an appointment with Dr Kate Amos and Dr Sam Rosehill call 6652 3185 or book online.