Local dentists highlight snacking dangers in health campaign


by KREM.com


Posted on January 21, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 8:01 AM

The Washington Dental Service Foundation’s The Mighty Mouth campaign is spreading the word on the potential harm certain snacks can have on our teeth.
Sugar has long been tied to cavities, but dentists also say seemingly healthy snacks like bagels, granola bars and raisins can lead to tooth decay.  In fact, The Washington Dental Service Foundation states that teeth need time to rest and rebuild after snacking. When people graze frequently during the day or drink beverages other than water, food stays on their teeth for extended periods of time leading to decay and cavities, the foundation said.
Washington dentist James Sledge said combining meals, rather than eating throughout the day, is better for your teeth.
“Who doesn’t like a chocolate chip cookie?” Sledge said. “Ideally, you would have that in conjunction with lunch or dinner, so you’re not having a separate acid attack. It’s all a part of that other meal.”
The Washington Dental Service Foundation shared these tips:

•Eat your snacks all at once instead of nibbling them over time
•Limit the amount of sugary, acidic drinks and starchy foods between meals
•Drink water between meals to rinse food and sugar off your teeth
•Brush teeth twice a day and floss daily
“We need to decrease snacking across the board, recognizing that snacking raises the acid level around the teeth,” Sledge said. “If we can stop that frequent snacking, it stops those acid attacks. But if we are gonna snack – and we’re probably all gonna snack at some point in time – choose healthier snacks.”
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