Most people are aware that eating sugary, starchy foods is bad for their waistline and overall health. However, not as many people recognize the negative effect that eating highly processed, sugary and starchy foods has on their oral health as well. To help you avoid eating sugary, starchy snacks, Dr. Darian Hampton shares some alternative “smart” snack options for healthy teeth.
Why Sugary, Starchy Foods Are Bad for Oral Health
Certain bacteria that live in the mouth form a sticky material on the teeth called plaque. Brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing once a day helps remove plaque from the surfaces of teeth. If plaque is not removed, it eventually leads to cavities.
Eating sugary, starchy foods compounds the plaque problem, because the bacteria in plaque consume the sugars in the mouth and turn them into acids. The acids then dissolve the hard enamel that covers and protects the teeth, contributing to the development of cavities.
Starchy foods can also break down into sugars once they are in the mouth. For this reason, eating too many starchy foods is also bad for oral health.
Smarter Snack Options
Instead of reaching for candies and white breads when you need a quick snack, try choosing one of the following smarter snack options:
- Fresh fruits, such as apples, pears, oranges or melons (Hard, crisp fruits — and veggies — provide the added benefit of helping to “clean” the teeth in between brushings.)
- Raw veggies, such as broccoli, celery, cucumbers and carrots
- Whole grains, such as air-popped popcorn and quinoa
- Lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey and tofu
- Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and pumpkin seeds
- Legumes, such as lentils and black beans
By eating a variety of nutritious foods from the healthy categories above, you can protect the health of your teeth, your waistline and your body overall.
Find Out More About Protecting Your Oral Health
At the Hamptons Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe in educating our patients about preventative measures they can take to protect their dental health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampton to evaluate your oral health and learn additional ways to protect it, contact us by calling (972) 395-9292.