You're sitting at work when you find yourself thinking of those bagels that were delivered to your office this morning. Maybe you should grab a half of one for an afternoon snack? You resist the urge for another half an hour, but now you're finding it hard to concentrate. You end up heading for the bagel and eating half, which turns into the whole thing as you get involved in a conversation with your co-worker.
If you often reach for that afternoon snack, you're not alone. In fact, data out of the UK suggests that many people snack mid-morning and afternoon and that it's actually having a negative impact on your oral health. Here's why.
Midday Snacking Doesn't Typically Include Brushing
Most of us don't take the time to brush or floss our teeth after a snack. This gives plaque and bacteria extra time to build up and linger on our teeth, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay.
What Type of Snack are you Enjoying?
Snacks often consist of chips, crackers, or sweets, instead of the fruits and vegetables you might have with a well-balanced meal. Even if you avoid sweets, snacks that are high in carbohydrates present a double whammy for your teeth because they tend to stick to your teeth longer than they should, and carbohydrates convert into sugar, which contributes to tooth decay.
Does Your Snack Include Water?
Most snacks are eaten quickly, which means you may not take the time to drink water or other beverages that you might with a meal. Drinking throughout your meal helps to keep your mouth hydrated and washes away excess food particles and debris that might stick around without it.
You might also choose to enjoy a sugary beverage such as soda or a sports drink, which are also harmful to your teeth.
If you need to reach for a pick-me-up during the day, have some fruit, nuts, or raw veggies on hand, and try to drink water with your snack. If you have questions about your nutrition and oral health, Dr. Robert Rahm, your dentist in Chesterfield is here to help! Give us a call to learn more.