June 2, 2010
In the spirit of National Smile Month’s suggestion that we cut down on sugary snacks and drinks, here is our Snack Swop menu….give it a go and let us know what you think….you may even lose a few pounds in the process….but for sure, your teeth will thank you.
Snacking per se isn’t great for teeth. The more times you introduce sugar forming foods or drinks into your mouth, the more opportunity there is for plaque to form. But making small changes can make a big difference to your oral health. Here’s what Dr Kaman suggests we try for our Snack Swop challenge.
Ditch…sweet biscuits and cookies loaded with sugar.
Try…Brown Rice cakes or oatcakes.
Why? These choices are naturally low in sugar, although do remember that any carbohydrate will breakdown to form acids in the mouth which in turn attacks the enamel. Wholemeal varieties of savoury crackers don’t breakdown in the same way that refined carbohydrates do, so are a step in the right snack direction. Dr Kaman also recommends protein based snacks, which are more tooth friendly and have the added bonus of balancing blood sugar levels. Nuts, a piece of cheese or chicken all make good snack choices.
Ditch…High sugar fruits such as mango, figs, grapes and cherries.
Try…raspberries, strawberries, papaya, and watermelon or cantaloupe melon.
Why? While fruit is perceived to be a healthy snack, some fruits are higher in sugar than others, so you make a more tooth friendly snack by choosing fruit wisely. Dr Kaman adds “Raw vegetables are great alternative to fruit as a snack because of their low sugar and high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums! But fruit can be acidic which is bad for enamel, try combining it with something like yoghurt and milk which can cancel out the acidity, so for example it’s good to have sugar free yoghurt with fruit or a raspberry milk shake.”
Ditch…Fizzy drinks, sugary cordials and fruit juices.
Try…Sparkling mineral water, sugar free juice or plain old tap water.
Why? Constantly sipping on sugary drinks is a definite no no, you are constantly introducing plaque enemies into the mouth and this should be avoided at all costs.
Ditch…Chewy sweets, toffees and milk chocolate.
Try…Good quality dark chocolate.
Why? Chewy sweets stick to teeth, keeping the sugar in the mouth for longer, thus giving the sugar more time to do its worst. Whereas dark chocolate is low in sugar and, as previously reported in this blog contains ingredients which may even be good for teeth and gums!