With summer in full swing, you might be trying to make good dietary choices so you’ll stay in shape for swimsuit season.
But some choices you’re making might be putting your smile at risk.
That’s because of all the hidden sugars in some “health” foods, which makes it easy to fool consumers into thinking they’re making good choices.
Our team at Precise Dental of Houston wants to expose what’s hiding in some of your favorite (un)healthy snacks!
Sugar is addictive, and not just to humans.
It’s a crowd favorite for all the bad bacteria in your mouth!
When bacteria feeds on all the sugar and sticky residue left behind after you eat your favorite snack, it starts a dangerous process of harmful acids that destroy your tooth enamel and allow more bacteria to invade.
You’re already aware of this. In fact, you’re a health nut!
You try every single day to grab healthier alternatives to common junk foods.
But are you really doing your smile any favors?
Some snacks might actually be a healthier alternative in terms of a portion of the ingredients you’re putting into your body. Trail mix, for example, is a much better choice than a candy bar or bag of chips, for example.
But that doesn’t mean the healthier alternatives aren’t just as bad for your teeth as their more highly-processed counterparts.
Here are four foods that are seemingly healthy, but aren’t so healthy for your teeth.
You might be better off in terms of ingredients and calories when you grab a protein or granola bar before or after a workout than, say, a chocolate candy bar.
But even these healthier choices contain lots of added sugar that is bad for your teeth.
An even smarter alternative is to make healthy, energy-boosting granola yourself! It’s simple and much healthier when you’re making snacks at home where you are in complete control of all the ingredients.
Sure, a snack-sized bag of pretzels is better to eat on the go than a small bag of chips.
However, both contain highly-processed refined carbohydrates.
That means as soon as you eat a chip or a pretzel, those carbs break down into sugar in your body.
A good rule of thumb is to be suspicious of any so-called ‘health’ food that comes in a package. You can find healthier, teeth-strengthening snacks like raw nuts and almonds that are a much better alternative to other snacks you have to open.
There are two important things to note about yogurt here.
First, yogurt is, or should be, packed with calcium, which is good. But flavored, and even fruity, yogurt will have tons of added sugar that can harm your teeth.
Second, light or low-fat yogurt, or any food for that matter, makes up for the dull flavor of fewer calories by adding what?
Yes! Extra sugar!
So the best yogurt to grab is an all-natural brand.
No, not a bag filled with fresh apples.
We’re talking about dried fruit you can often find in small bags amongst the other snacks at gas stations and convenience stores.
While you may be doing yourself a favor by eating low-calorie dried fruit, you could be ingesting the natural sugars in fruit to excess. On top of that, you’re actually missing out on the fiber you’d normally get from whole fruit because much of it is lost in the drying process.
Sugar can hurt your teeth most by prolonged exposure. In other words, sucking on a small piece of hard candy several times all throughout the day is worse for your teeth than eating two candy bars back to back.
That’s because you can rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after eating two candy bars, but sugar in your mouth all day long from a piece of candy feeds more bacteria for a longer period of time.
So the good news is that you don’t have to avoid sugar completely.
More good news is that your routine dental check-ups with Dr. Crouse will help protect your teeth from oral health risks of excess sugar, bacteria, and the harm they can cause.
The daily struggle to make the healthiest choices you can is real!
But we’re here to help you with our comprehensive dental care in Houston, TX.
Dr. Crouse and our team want to see you soon for your next dental cleaning and exam, so make sure you give us a call to book your appointment.