Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren't so good for your teeth or your body. Sugary foods that kids love to eat, like candy, cookies, ice cream, if eaten between meals, can cause tooth decay. Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in your mouth. This is very important especially for kids with diabetes.
How do sugars attack your teeth?
There is bacteria that lives in your mouth all day long. These bacteria form plaque on your teeth throughout the day. When you eat sugar, the bacteria eats the plaque and forms acids which are strong enough to dissolve enamel. Remember that enamel is the strongest part of the human body. So these acids are quick powerful
How can watching my snack consumption help protect me from tooth decay?
Keep a log of what snacks you consume. If the snack has sugars in it, think again about consuming it. Also remember that some sugar snacks actually cause more damage than others. Sticky and chewy sweets stick to the surface of your teeth and because sticky snacks stay in your mouth longer than foods that you quickly chew and swallow, they bath in the sugar longer. This will cause tooth decay.
How often do you eat snacks?
Do you eat sugary snacks throughout the day, or do you usually just have dessert after dinner? Remember acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to do damage on your teeth for at least 20 minutes until they are neutralized and can't do any more harm. The more times a day you snack, the more likely acids are building in your mouth and causing damage.
It is best to eat sugary foods at mealtime and not throughout the day. Remember to brush and floss to remove sugary substances from mouth after you consume them.
When you're choosing snacks to eat think about:
The number of times a day you eat sugary snacks
How long the sugary food stays in your mouth
Is the food sticky or chewy?
Choosing healthy snacks is good for your body and for your teeth.
Healthy choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers or bread are smart choices.
Be particular when choosing snacks- you can make wise choices and help keep your teeth shiny and healthy.
Pick a variety of foods from these groups:
-Pretzels (unsalted or low-salt)
- Cereals (unsweetened)
- Plain bagels
Nuts & Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds (unsalted or low-salt)
- Sunflower seeds (unsalted or low-salt)
- Nuts (unsalted or low-salt)
Meats & Protein
- Baked chicken or turkey
- Peanut butter (unsalted or low-salt)
- Cottage cheese (low or non-fat)
- Yogurt (low or non-fat)
Don't Forget! If you eat sweets, eat them for dessert instead of munching on them throughout the day. And remember to brush and floss your teeth after every snack or meal!
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