Last Updated on 2 months by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
When you do it right, having snacks can actually improve your oral hygiene and overall health.
Typically, the food we eat nourish our bodies but they are not always good for our teeth. The sugary and sticky food particles, in our snacks and meals, enable the bacteria in our mouths to produce acids that cause tooth to decay. Often, the sweet and processed food items that we snack on in between the meals make the most damage to our teeth. This is why, oral hygiene and dental health is very important.
The best thing you can do for your dental health is brushing and flossing your teeth for around twenty minutes after you have food. But, as cleaning your mouth 20 minutes after you have eaten isn’t always possible, there are other ways to maintain your dental health.
Dentists help you take care of your teeth and oral health, but you can also make lifestyle changes to naturally improve your dental health. The following are eight snacks that can actually help improve your oral hygiene and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Snack on apples, carrots, celery, and leafy greens
There is nothing better than finding the snack in between your meals that not only make you feel full but also keep your oral hygiene in check. Apple, carrot, and celery can be a few great snack options for you, they are light, make you feel full and they act as dental detergents for your mouth. Crunchy vegetables and fruits increase the flow of cleansing saliva, which gives your mouth a nice, fresh feeling. However, make sure to not pick fruits that are high in acid as your in-between meal snacks as they can be hard on your tooth enamel.
Snacking on vegetables and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens is again a great option. They go really well with most diets as they are not calorie-dense and provide good vitamins and minerals. If you limit on the toppings and dressing, you can enjoy a large quantity of your salads and greens. Leafy greens are also high in folic acid, calcium, and b vitamins. They usually go really well in salads and smoothie.
Snack on cheese or milk
The acid in the food we eat can eat away our teeth. However, many dairy products are good for your dental health as they help reduce the acid in your mouth. Besides, a glass of milk or a piece of cheese is filling and will keep you going for a couple of hours. You can pair cheese with classic complements like crackers, grapes, and other fruits and you can even serve cheese to guest and in parties.
Hence, snacking on milk and cheese satisfies you and the sugar found in milk won’t add to the tooth decay. That said, if you are sensitive or allergic to dairy, you can replace the milk with calcium and protein-fortified nut milk option like soy, almond, or cashew milk.
Snack on raw onion
Start with just a slice or two of fresh raw onion on your salad or a sandwich. Raw onions are known for their powerful antibacterial properties. They can be very helpful in wiping away the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities and gum diseases. However, after having raw onion, you will have to do something about that strong breath as well.
Snack on cashew nuts
A great way to keep your oral health in check is to snack on cashew nuts instead of processed and sugary snacks. You can consume raw cashews, flavored cashews, and roasted cashews, according to your personal preference.
Besides, cashew nut shell oil is known to have microbe-fighting properties to protect against bacteria that cause tooth decay. Snacking on cashew nuts not only help keep your teeth clean and healthy, but they are also good for your skin.
Snack on wasabi
Do you love having sushi? Now you have an additional reason to snack on it. Wasabi that’s typically served on the side with sushi, and other Asian dishes, may have oral health benefits. The spicy green condiment for your sushi can help stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
You can be as creative as you like by adding wasabi sauce or paste in different recipes, dishes, and snacks.
Snack on water
Water may not exactly be a snack but sipping on water every now and then can help cleanse your teeth. Washing your mouth with water and swishing water around your mouth can be an effective way of removing bacteria. Sipping on plain water or lemon water is a much better option than sugary juices and drinks for your teeth and overall health.
If you are on a strict diet plan and don’t want to snack much, having some water after small intervals can be a great way to keep your mouth feeling fresh. Besides, a glass or two of water in between meals can give you a more filled feeling.
Snack on nuts
Besides cashews, other nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are also a healthy snacking option, particularly to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Peanuts contain a good amount of calcium and vitamin D, which promote good, healthy teeth. This is why, salted, shelled, unshelled, or unsalted peanuts, according to your preference, and peanut butter sandwiches can be easy and filling snack options.
Almonds are also a good source of calcium, which helps nourishes and supports gum tissues and overall, they promote good, healthy teeth. Walnuts contain plant protein, magnesium, iron, folacin, dietary fiber, iron, thiamine, niacin, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B6, which are all great for dental health.
Snack on yogurt
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt enable your body to produce more saliva, which helps protect your teeth. That said, yogurt is high in protein and calcium, which makes it helpful in strengthening your teeth. Yogurt also contain probiotics and you can also think of it as bacteria that are beneficial for your digestive system.
However, make sure to choose unsweetened or sugar-free yogurt and if you want you can add some honey or sweetener yourself. You can make your snack even more delicious by adding some fresh fruits in your yogurt.
A healthy person is a happy person
Along with brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and using the right toothpaste for your teeth, you can also do a lot more to ensure dental health. Just like a lot of us make regular visits to our dentists to ensure our teeth and gums are health, you can also tweak your diet for even better oral care. The above-mentioned snack options and different ways of using them in your everyday life will make big change into your dental health.
Making healthy food choices that promote dental care and other bodily functions will ensure you not only feel good from inside, but these lifestyle changes also affect your mood, mental health, and general attitude. Even people who follow strict diet plans have trouble finding the right food items to snack on, but not anymore.
So, make sure to remember that strong and healthy teeth and gums will not only ensure oral hygiene but they will make feel happy and smiles more confident.
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