A Dentist’s Guide to Nutritious Snacks

We understand that maintaining a healthy smile is important to you, whether you’re in Lakewood, CO, or connecting with us through virtual appointments. One aspect of dental health that often goes overlooked is the impact of our snacking habits. In this dentist’s guide to nutritious snacks, we will help you understand a variety of nutritious snacks that promote dental health while satisfying your cravings. Let’s dive in!

Snacks to Avoid

Let’s start by discussing some snacks that are best to avoid or consume in moderation. Sugary treats like candies, cookies, and sodas are well-known culprits that contribute to tooth decay. These snacks contain high amounts of sugar that feed harmful bacteria in your mouth, leading to cavities and gum disease. Additionally, sticky snacks like dried fruit or chewy candies can get stuck in between your teeth, increasing the risk of decay.  But even more surprising…CRACKERS!  Crackers are a huge decay causer, so watch out for these carbs that get stuck in your tooth grooves and crevices!

The Best Nutritious Snacks

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Snacking on crisp fruits and vegetables not only provides essential nutrients but also helps clean your teeth naturally. Carrots, apples, celery, and bell peppers are excellent choices as they stimulate saliva production and remove plaque-causing bacteria.

Dairy Products

Incorporating dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk into your snack routine is a win-win for both your dental health and overall well-being. These foods are rich in calcium and phosphates, which strengthen tooth enamel, protecting against decay. Moreover, cheese increases saliva production, neutralizing acids in the mouth.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds offer a satisfying crunch and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, for example, provide calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, all of which promote strong teeth and gums.

Beef Jerky and Meat bars

These can provide some essential nutrients and often require more mastication or chewing.  It is important to have stimuli of the teeth in the bone to help promote strong bones and growth.

Dried Seaweed and Olives

Just delicious and a good replacement for carb filled crackers!  Try on the go with your kiddos.

Healthy Foods to Moderate

While many healthy foods are beneficial for our overall health, some can pose risks to our dental health. It’s essential to be mindful of the following foods:

Citrus Fruits

Although citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, their high acidity can erode tooth enamel over time. Enjoy them as part of a meal rather than as a standalone snack, and rinse your mouth with water afterward to minimize acid effects.

Dried Fruit

While dried fruit may seem like a healthy option, it can be harmful to your teeth. It contains concentrated sugars that cling to your teeth and can contribute to tooth decay. If you do indulge in dried fruit, make sure to brush your teeth afterward.

Drink Water

In addition to making smart snack choices, staying hydrated with water is crucial for your dental health. Water helps wash away food particles, neutralize acids, and maintain saliva production. It’s an excellent choice for a refreshing and tooth-friendly beverage, especially when compared to sugary or acidic drinks.

Use This Dentist’s Guide to Nutritious Snacks

Remember, you don’t have to give up all of your favorite snacks to maintain healthy teeth! By making mindful choices and consuming snacks in moderation, you can still enjoy your treats while promoting good dental health. Incorporate crunchy, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and nuts into your snacking routine to support strong teeth and gums. Be cautious of certain healthy foods that can be detrimental to your dental health, and opt for water as your go-to beverage. If you’re in Lakewood, CO, or anywhere else, we invite you to schedule a dental appointment with Fox Point Dental to ensure your smile stays bright and healthy!

Schedule a Dental Appointment

Whether you’re due for a check-up or have questions about your dental health, our team at Fox Point Dental is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or virtual consultation. Let’s work together to keep your smile shining for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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