Some Food For Thought
Have you ever found yourself reaching into your wallet at 3pm to pull out a dollar with a vending machine full of snacks dancing in your head? I know I sure have. The afternoon snack is a vice for many cube workers struggling to make it to the end of the day! We love our snacks but what if I told you that snack might lead to problems with your teeth later down the road? Many vending machines contain less-than-healthy snacks. Candy, cokes and chips are just a few of the destructive nibbles you will find. Why not save your teeth and opt for healthier and teeth-friendly snacks. Here is a guide to snack ideas that can be easily made at home and brought to work!
1) Firm, crunchy fruits and veggies are the most obvious choice! If you opt for veggies, try dipping them in savory dressing or tangy hummus to add another layer of flavor. Fruits can be sweetened up with a dash of fragrant cinnamon and vanilla! Firm, crunchy fruits and vegetables are helpful because they are usually high in water content. This helps to dilute the effects of the sugars they contain as well as stimulate the flow of saliva. They also scrub your teeth clean as you eat them (a bonus!).
2) Dairy products contribute greatly to strong teeth so make sure you get your fill. Healthy snack choices include yogurt – avoid the high sugar brands – and string cheese. Plus, the added protein will keep you full until dinner! Dairy products contain calcium and phosphorus which re-deposit in the tooth enamel to replace the nutrients removed by acids (from the sugar we eat).
3) Popcorn can be a good afternoon snack too. It does get stuck in your teeth so make sure to rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth after eating. There is also an array of popcorn flavors on the market now if you want to add a little oomph to your snack!
4) A handful of nuts also contain great nutrients for your teeth, but you will have the same issue with nuts as you do with popcorn. An easy swish with water should help. Speaking of water…
5) Water is a great snack. Many times when we feel hungry, we are thirsty and our brain is tricking us into craving food. Drinking water helps your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva and washing away any food particles that may linger in the crevices between your teeth (great follow-up for popcorn). On your next visit to the grocery store, stock up on those foods that are good for, not only your teeth, but your whole body.