Introducing a new monthly feature! Natalia, one of our longtime hygienists will introduce a different dental topic each month! I'll let her take it away and talk to you about snacks!
We preach a lot in the office about nutrition, especially snacks, and its importance to your dental health. So if I can’t eat granola or dried fruit then what the heck am I supposed to snack on? Often times, we as a society don’t tend to put enough thought into what we’re putting in to our bodies and what effect it has on our health, let alone on our teeth. Let’s go over what we consider to be mindful eating for our overall health.
We’ve become a society of grazers; eating on the go. If it’s quick, it’s my pick. Things that fit in your purse or back pack, store easily, and have a long shelf life. Unfortunately for our teeth, (and your body) this is not an ideal choice. These foods tend to have an amazing ingredient that prolongs shelf life and gives you an incredibly tasty flavor. Yep, if you guessed sugar, you’re right. Don’t get me wrong, sugar has a place in our lives and a very tasty one at that, but we just have to be more aware of when and how often we enjoy it. We can get ourselves in trouble when we stop thinking about what exactly it is that we’re about to eat. A packaged snack that’s sticky and filled with dry fruit is not the best way to go for your teeth because the sticky substance will stay lodged between your them until you get a chance to brush and floss. It will also create a pH imbalance in your saliva that demineralizes your teeth.
Sure, that all sounds pretty grim, so let’s lighten things up a bit and talk about what we can eat. It just takes a shift in thinking and being a little more mindful. Apples, bananas, peaches, and any fresh fruit that you can throw in your bag is always a good choice. The sugar in fruit is natural and also contains lots of amazing fiber and nutrients. This is what our body prefers: real food. Nuts are another great option; these guys travel well and are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and are high in fiber. Unless you’re allergic, I suggest we all go a little nutty over nuts. Cheese is another amazing snack that can shift your saliva to a less acidic, more neutral state.
A big aspect of being more mindful about your snacking is reading the label. You’ll be shocked at how difficult it will be to understand half the ingredients on it (or even be able to pronounce them). Just read the label. Funny how there isn’t a label on an apple. Or a nut. Cause, it’s an apple and a nut. That’s all there is to it. Think of your body as a plane. What kind of fuel would we put in it if we all owned our very own plane? Well, I for one would try to get the best possible fuel to keep my plane up in the air and not crashing down.