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The Best Snacks for Your Smile

Looking for something to eat at work or on the go that won’t harm your dental health? With a little planning, you can stock up on healthy, smile-friendly snacks to enjoy throughout the work week. Here’s a quick list of some of the best snacks for your smile:

  • Cheese
  • No added sugar yogurt
  • Raw Veggies
  • Apples/Pears
  • Nuts
  • Meat

Cheese and Teeth go together

Cheese is an outstanding food for dental health. A 2013 study found that eating cheese might actually decrease the likelihood of developing cavities. Researchers discovered that cheese-eating quickly raised the pH levels in the mouths of the study participants. (A pH baseline of lower than 5.5 can erode the tooth enamel.) The action of chewing cheese is thought to increase saliva production, which lowers the acidity level in the mouth. Elements in cheese might also protect teeth from acid by sticking to the enamel.

Cheese also contains calcium and phosphates, which work to remineralize tooth enamel. As a bonus, the fat and protein in cheese will help keep you feeling full until lunch or dinner.

Snack ideas: There are so many possibilities! String cheese and cheese cubes are a handy way to snack at your desk or on the go. Spreadable cheese can be used as a dip with raw veggies. Cottage cheese can be topped in creative ways, like with apples and cinnamon. An endless variety of cheeses will keep your snacking interesting.

No Added Sugar Yogurt is simple and delicious

Just like cheese, yogurt has the same calcium and phosphates needed for strong teeth and bones and is another good snack for your teeth. However, be careful not to pick varieties with added sugar, which can cause tooth decay. If you’re feeling really up for it, we’ve got staff here at our office who use their Instant Pot and make their own! Recipe here.

A note about Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is made by straining out the whey. The resulting product is lower in sugar and packed with more protein. However, it only has half as much calcium as regular yogurt. If you prefer Greek yogurt to regular yogurt, look for ways to sneak in a little extra calcium throughout the day.

Snack ideas: Homemade, full-fat yogurt brought from home, nut-topped individual cups of yogurt, or a few drops of extract in plain yogurt are all good snacks for your teeth.

Raw Veggies are full of vitamins and minerals

Raw vegetables are another great snack option for your teeth. Munching on veggies has a similar effect as brushing your teeth. The fiber from the vegetables removes plaque buildup on the teeth and stimulates gum tissue and saliva production. Vegetables are also an important source of vitamins and minerals that are essential to dental health. Broccoli, for instance, is a great source of calcium, and carrots are packed with beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A that protects against dry mouth and builds tooth enamel.

Snack ideas: Cut a variety of crunchy vegetables, like carrots, broccoli, celery, and cauliflower, and pack into snack sized bags to keep at work. Try individual cups of ranch dip or sour cream to use as a sugar free dip with added calcium.

Nuts are full of nutrients

Nuts are full of calcium and phosphorus, which work to rebuild tooth enamel. Almonds are among the best nut sources of calcium. Brazil nuts are particularly high in phosphorus, as are cashews and almonds. Like eating vegetables, chewing nuts also helps remove plaque. Low in carbohydrates and containing fat and protein, nuts will also help satisfy your hunger until your next meal.

Snack ideas: Mixed nuts, a different nut a week, or even spiced nuts without sugar can help keep snacking at your desk interesting. For a mini meal, top a salad with walnuts for extra crunch, flavor, and tooth-building vitamins and minerals.

Meat helps keep you satisfied

Meat is a terrific source of phosphorus, which is essential for maintaining strong tooth enamel, as well as enamel-fortifying calcium and other important dental health vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrate-free and full of protein and fat, meat will keep you satisfied far longer than most other snacks.

Snack ideas: Rolled deli meats can be paired with crunchy veggies and dip for a hearty bite in the morning or afternoon. Skewer chunks of meat and cheese on a toothpick as another calcium-packed snack for your teeth.

At Affiliated Dentists, we care about helping you maintain great dental health. Along with other services, we provide general dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin. If we assist you with identifying the best snacks for your smile or answer any other questions relating to your dental health, please contact us today:

The Best Snacks for Your Smile brought to you by:
Mark Gustavson DDS, Madison Dentist

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