February is National Snack Food Month! Snacking can quickly lead to over-eating, and too much snacking can have dental consequences. Therefore, it’s best to choose wisely, and to try to limit how frequently you snack. Likewise, we recommend sticking to the “most things in moderation is okay” rule. In other words, not every snack is dental friendly, and even the snacks that are dental friendly should be limited to a healthy serving size. To help keep you on track, we’ve compiled a list of dental friendly snack foods that are okay to eat in moderation.
Why Do I Need To Snack In Moderation?
Not only does frequent, unhealthy snack-eating pose risks for your overall health, but it negatively affects your teeth too. Because most snack foods are high in sugar, they can contribute directly to tooth decay (cavities). Additionally, when you constantly have food in your mouth, you are consistently exposing your teeth to food debris. Food debris that are not removed from the teeth will eventually turn into plaque (within hours of eating if not brushed and flossed away)—a sticky, build up of harmful tooth decay-causing bacteria. Therefore, it’s best to snack less frequently throughout the day, and choose your snack foods wisely.
Dental Friendly Snacks
Please note that not all of these are safe to eat after certain dental procedures, and not everyone should eat these foods so please check with your dentist if you have pre-existing dental conditions, and/or have had recent dental treatment:
*Be absolutely sure to get the dentist’s approval before eating any crunchy foods.
1. Hard Cheeses
5. Leafy Greens
The aforementioned list is not exhaustive of all of the dental friendly snack foods in the world! There are plenty of other dentist-approved snacks that are just as delicious and nutritious, including (but not limited to) nuts, tea, yogurt, and lean proteins. Just remember—snack smart!