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Afternoon Snacks: Watch Out for Cavities

We love to snack—it’s true. Grocery stores stock their aisles full of junk food: cookies, candy bars, chips and snack cakes. Why is it referred to as junk food? It doesn’t offer any nutritional value, just too many calories. While the U.S. is becoming more health conscious, snack food still remains a common food staple.
 
It’s fine to indulge on occasion, but that’s usually not the case. Your dentists in Cincinnati, OH, Drs. David Croop and Ben Gosnell, can give you a reason to cut back on those sweet and starchy snack foods.
 
Refined carbohydrates can cause cavities
If simple carbohydrates are eaten in excess, you expose yourself to cavity-forming acid. Refined white grains have added sugar, specifically sucrose, and countless studies have shown that refined sugars and carbohydrates aren’t good for the body.
 
Why would they be any better for your oral health? Refined starch and sugars are easily metabolized into acid. Constant snacking and bad oral hygiene increases the chances of acid to break down enamel and cause caries.
 
Stock up on smart snacks
  • You don’t have to opt out of your afternoon snack. Just remember to buy snacks that pack a punch (to plaque bacteria). If you pick the right food, you are going to boost your oral health and feel better about it. Here are some guilt-free and dental-friendly foods you can munch on:
  • Celery & carrots – toss a few of these vegetables into a bag for an afternoon snack. The two crunchy veggies are considered “nature’s toothbrushes” because they produce saliva, which washes away food particles and acid.
  • Strawberries – these petite berries contain malic acid, which is a natural enzyme that whitens teeth.
  • String cheese – the lactic acid in dairy products help neutralize acids in the mouth, so you can naturally protect your teeth from decay. Plus, don’t forget the calcium content—it’s time to strengthen the bones!
 
What other oral health questions do you have? Let us know in the comments! Your Cincinnati dentists at Mt. Lookout Dentistry are always happy to answer your dental questions.

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