As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to soar around the world, now is the time to practice good health habits such as proper hand and oral hygiene.
No matter where you are in the world, the coronavirus pandemic has affected you somehow. This disease has turned our world upside down.
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For a couple of weeks now, most of us have been spending the whole day locked in our homes, and this has spurred an increase in home cooking. But some people are still ordering from fast-food restaurants that have drive-thru options.
But is it safe to eat junk food and snacks right now, or should you hold off?
This is the reason why we decided to write this article. We want to give you advice, at the same time show you the implications of eating junk food and snacks to your teeth.
Let's get into it.
Eating junk food and too many snacks
While eating any kind food may seem harmless, junk food and too many snacks can be harmful to your teeth. Junk food and snacks can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth.
That burger you had last week with some french fries, and the large pizza you crave to have; what’s common in them? Yes, they’re all delicious! Unfortunately for your teeth, one more thing that is common in them is the starch content! Starch tends to stick to the teeth and it becomes food for bacteria in your mouth.
Tooth decay happens when sugary and starchy foods stick to our teeth and are broken down by our natural oral bacteria. Dry fruits, unlike fresh fruits, have added sugar in them. And it’s general knowledge that sugar is bad for your teeth. Carbonated beverages like soda pops are harmful to your teeth, since they cause damage to the enamel.
But not every snack damages your teeth, there are some tooth-friendly snacks out there. And these include:
- Carrots, celery and apples - their crunchy texture gives teeth an extra brush.
- Cheese, yoghurt and plain nuts - rich in calcium and phosphorus, these foods help to repair our tooth enamel.
- Sugar-free boiled sweets.
- Oatcakes with hummus or sugar-free peanut butter.
What will be the effects on my dental health?
It is a popular belief that eating junk food including snacks is associated with health problems. It has been long documented that junk food is directly responsible for heart diseases, but the truth is it can do more than that.
Believe it or not, eating junk food and unhealthy snacks will affect your dental health too. I’m sure you are now wondering:
“How does it affect my mouth if I brush and floss regularly?”
The answer to that is very simple; brushing and flossing are not enough to prevent the reactions that are brought about by junk food and unhealthy snacks. Furthermore, you can not entirely rely on brushing and flossing for a healthy mouth –all they do is to only help you maintain your dental hygiene.
Almost every junk food and snacks you eat regularly, has an oral health issue that will definitely affect your dental health.
How can I protect myself from dental health?
Assuming that you just have had junk food and a snack treat, there are several things you can do to protect your oral health. Consider the following tips:
Use a straw
Using a straw after having junk foods and snacks, might help you avoid getting your teeth damaged.
Don't snack before bed
Before bedtime, saliva levels tend to be lower, it’s best that you avoid snacking or eating junk food during that time of the night.
Chewing sugar-free gum after having junk food and snacks.
Brush teeth regularly
Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily.
Time your teeth-brushing
You may think that you should brush your teeth straight after eating junk food or snacks. In fact, if you brush too soon after eating, the process can rub the sugar into your teeth before getting rid of it. Wait at least half an hour after eating before you brush.
After eating something sweet, it’s important to have a glass of milk or a cube of cheese so as to make your teeth less susceptible to decay.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2020