Can snacking throughout the day cause tooth decay?

We all do it; we take the easy option of reaching for a snack, whether we are sat in front of the television or working long hours in the office. Some office workers are notoriously known to have their bottom desk drawer filled with generous snacks instead of paperwork! Tropical Foods noted that, in 2014, 91% of adults admitted to snacking throughout the day.

But this frequent, heedless consumption of snacks may be the reason for tooth decay. Plaque in the mouth combines with sugar, producing acid, attacking the teeth. Breakfast can be easily missed, and for some, lunch may end up being a sugary snack bar or worse! It is a no-brainer that it is better to have 3 healthy meals throughout the day, rather than snack 7-10 times in the day, to keep a happy number on the scales but this routine also helps to keep an attractive smile too. Remember, a smile is just as appealing as is a trim tum. Constant snacking means a continuous supply of food for bacteria to produce more acid and drown your teeth in this acid bath!

We’re not suggesting that you banish all snacks completely, for snacks that consist of milk, cheese or other dairy products rich in calcium are a much better choice to maintain healthy teeth. If you must indulge in sweet, sugary snacks, remember to keep a bottle of still water with fluoride close to wash away acidic food and drink. Also, try and allow some time to give your teeth a gentle brush or floss after snacking, to remove food that may be stuck between teeth, to prevent plaque build-up.

Symptoms of tooth decay may include toothache, tooth sensitivity or bad breath. If any of these issues are troubling you, it is important to act as soon as to avoid further problems in resulting. Ignoring these issues may result in worse dental problems, such as gum disease or even tooth loss.

If you are worried about tooth decay, do come and see our helpful, tooth-friendly team at Dental Excellence. We’ll be happy to offer professional advice, recommend and carry out the right dental treatment for you.