Smart Snacking Helps You Keep That Beautiful Smile
SOME EATING HABITS ONLY apply while you’re in braces. But learning how to snack smart will also help you maintain great oral health AFTER you’re done with treatment.
So what’s the danger in snacking? Well, every time we eat, our mouths go to work cleaning things up and restoring “balance”. Having three meals a day is one thing. But when we continuously snack, our mouths struggle more to maintain that clean, happy balance—especially when we’re eating the wrong kinds of foods.
The Types Of Foods We Snack On Make A Difference
While you’re in braces, it’s best to avoid really sugary, sticky, and acidic foods altogether. So use this time to get to know other great snack foods that work for you. Keep these tips in mind:
1. Be more aware! Notice WHICH snacks you eat, and WHEN you’re eating them.
2. Keep “teeth-healthy” snacks handy. At first you’ll miss the sweets. But very quickly your tastes will adjust and smart snacks will easily tide you over between meals and late at night. Here are some suggestions:
- Crunchy, fibrous fruits and vegetables actually scrub your teeth and increase saliva flow.
- Protein-rich foods like beans, meats, and eggs have phosphorus and minerals that help build strong teeth. Try edamame as a snack!
- Cheese is sugar/starch free, and dairy products are high in calcium, which is great for teeth.
Did You Know An Apple Is Like A Mini Toothbrush?
When you’re craving a snack, practice putting away the crackers and cookies. Opt for something that’s good for your teeth instead. One special note about apples, though: we do NOT recommend eating an apple off the core while you’re in braces. Instead, cut it up into easy, bite-size pieces. Enjoy this video that explains more!
Eating Treats With Your Meals
Don’t torture yourself. If you choose, having a starchy or sugary treat once in a while is fine. Eating them at the right time can help too, and potentially have a less damaging effect on your teeth.
- Eat treats WITH a meal to help dilute their effects and wash them down. During meals, you have increased saliva flow to clean away debris, counteract acids, and remineralize your teeth.
- Follow up with brushing or rinsing.
Do you have smart snacking tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! You can leave a comment below, or you can always reach us on our Facebook page.